Researchers say that before the dinosaurs, saber-like teeth predators lived on Earth and fought and bit each other. These are known as gorgonopsians . It was also the dominant species on Earth during the Permian period, about 299 million to 251 million years ago.
Paleontologists say they were not fighting for supremacy, mating, or maintaining a territory, but to kill each other. The researchers based their findings on a Gorgon skull with a broken tooth embedded in the snout. The original skull was found in 1940 in the Karoo desert near Cape Town, South Africa.
The bite mark on the skull was discovered earlier this year.
The researchers presented the new study at the annual conference of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. Researchers describe the struggle between these as ritualized face biting. Researchers also say that cats need to be included in any precautionary measures against the virus.
Paleontologist Julian Benoit says this finding shows that complex biting behavior is very old. These creatures also grow to about 10 feet.