Temporal range: Carboniferous 330–300 Ma
|Fossil tooth of Rhizodus hibberti|
The most notable characteristics of Rhizodus, compared to other giant lobe-fins such as Barameda, were the two 22 centimetres (8.7 in) fangs located near the front of its jaws, followed by other teeth scaling downwards in size. Rhizodus was a giant apex predator that resided in freshwater lakes, river systems and large swamps in the entire Carboniferous period, feeding on small to medium-sized amphibians, using its teeth to kill prey and rip it into digestible sizes, rather than swallowing prey whole like other, smaller-toothed sarcopterygians.
Rhizodus' diet includes medium sized fish and temnospondyls. It has been proposed that Rhizodus may have lunged at terrestrial, shorebound prey, just like a modern day crocodile.
In popular culture
Rhizodus is featured in the forty-third episode of River Monsters, labelled "Prehistoric Terror". Host Jeremy Wade labels it as "the ultimate river monster" during his investigation due to its immense size, power and possible ferocity due to its ability to tear flesh and crush bone.
- "Prehistoric Terror". River Monsters. 19 April 2015. Animal Planet.
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