Researchers discovered remains from a giant otter in China, which assuming it was alive today, would be at a size of a wolf. The fossil belongs to new species of otter known as Siamogale melilutra, that lived in the sweet water lakes around 6 million years ago.
Evidence of a giant otter were discovered before, but only in a form of a scattered teeth found in Thailand. This last discovery includes a complete scalp, lower jaw, teeth and other pieces of the skillet, that indicates about the massive size of the animal.
At the moment, the largest live species of otters (living in the Amazon river) are around 6 foot long and weight around 60 pound, while the chinese otter would be twice the size of that. Scientist calculated that it would weight around 100 pounds, meaning that it would be the largest species of otter that ever existed.
According to the analysis of the jaw and the teeth of the fossil, it was concluded that their main food source was large shells and invertebrates, whose fossil remains were found in the same layer of rock with the scalp.
Scientist also managed to reconstruct the environment in which these otters were living, describing it as ‘swamp like and shallow lake with rich vegetation’ – away from the woods in which the modern day otter lives.