Tseng Research Finds Giant Otter Demolished Prey with Forceful Bite

Updated December 1, 2017 This content is archived.

Research led by Jack Tseng, PhD, assistant professor of pathology and anatomical sciences, suggests that a now-extinct Chinese otter that roamed lakes or swamps was almost as large as a wolf and had jawbones capable of crushing large shells, as well as birds and mammals, making it a key predator in its ecosystem. The researchers developed a computer model to test their guess that jaw strength would depend on what foods the species prefers. "You don't need to chew fish, you just sort of bite on it and swallow," Tseng said.