The original Scarface had teeth that delivered poison
The fossil of an extinct predator, which researchers have called “Scarface”, has recently been discovered.
The reptile is believed to have roamed the earth before dinosaurs. It was the size of a small dog and killed its prey with a poisonous bite, scientists think.
Britain’s Daily Mail reported that the creature – named Ichibengops, which translates into scarface – was an early ancestor of the first mammals that lived in Zambia about 225 million years ago.
Palaeontologists found grooves above its teeth that they think may have been used to inject venom into victims. They say the fossil could provide clues about the evolution of early mammals and how they were able to survive at a time when the world was dominated by giant dinosaurs.
Lead researcher Dr Kenneth Angielczyk of the Field Museum in Chicago said: “One interesting feature about this species is the presence of grooves above its teeth, which may have been used to transmit venom.”
This led scientists to the name, which consists of the word for scar in the Bemba language, ichibenga, and the ancient Greek word for face, ops.