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Ancient caiman with ‘no parallel in the modern world’ left 46 bite marks on sloth leg

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About 13 million years ago, a ground sloth wandered too close to the water’s edge, where a caiman lay waiting to strike. The attack likely happened in a flash, and ended with the caiman leaving nearly 50 tooth marks in the sloth’s hind leg, a new study finds.

Most of the bite marks on the sloth’s bone are shallow pits and scores, but the larger marks that punctured the tibia, better known as the shinbone, indicate that the caiman’s mouth closed over the sloth’s leg, inflicting terrible damage.

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