Temporal range: 362.9–290 Ma Late Carboniferous
|Fossil tooth of Rhizodus hibberti|
Rhizodus (Root tooth) is an extinct genus of rhizodont, a branch of the Sarcopterygii, the bony vertebrate clade that also includes tetrapods. It was of enormous size, reaching 6–7 m in length.[unreliable source?] The most notable characteristics of Rhizodus, when compared to other giant lobe-fins such as Barameda, were the two giant 22 cm 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 (ranging from 30 cm and 600 cm in size), using its teeth to kill prey and rip it into digestible sizes, rather than swallowing prey whole like other, smaller-toothed sarcopterygii.
In Popular Culture
Rhizodus' debut in the public media is in the forty-third episode of River Monsters, labelled "Prehistoric Terror". 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.
- Rhizodus page including visual reconstruction on www.prehistoric-wildlife.com
- "Prehistoric Terror". River Monsters. 19 April 2015. Animal Planet.
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