Suminia getmanovi lived about 245 million years ago, in what is now the Vjatka region of central Russia.
Natalia Rybczynski of Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, and Robert Reisz of the University of Toronto in Mississauga conducted the research.
|Suminia getmanovi had close-packed teeth to grind up vegetation.
They describe how its close-packed teeth would have been ideal for grinding up vegetation for easier digestion.
The evolution of such teeth may have been what made the anomodonts - the group of mammal-like reptiles to which Suminia belongs - the most diverse and abundant land vertebrates of their time.
The anomodonts' success would have been good news for predators, leading to the evolution of the type of ecosystems and food webs with which we are familiar today.