|By Lucy Hicks|
Lystrosaurus, which translates to “shovel lizard,” had short, stubby tusks that grew in layers similar to tree rings. When researchers compared cross-sections of six Lystrosaurus tusks from Antarctica with four from what is now South Africa, they found that the tusks from the Antarctic had closely spaced, thick rings, indicating a slowdown in metabolism, they report this week in Communications Biology. Such a slowdown likely resulted from stress. And given the regularity of the pattern—and its similarity to those in the teeth of modern-day hibernators—ancient hibernation is a likely cause.