The Lisowicia bojani lived over 200 million years ago, and belongs to a kind of herbivorous synapsids (mammal-like reptiles) known as Dicynodontia, ancestors of today's mammals.
The Lisowicia itself was around 4.5 metres long, 2.5 metres tall, and weighed around nine tonnes. That makes it a giant 40 percent larger than any previously identified dicynodont, according to Uppsala University, whose researchers found the remains during excavations in Poland.
“Lisowicia is incredibly exciting because it contradicts many of our hypotheses about mammal-like reptiles during the Triassic Period when it comes to size, bone structure and age,” said researcher Grzegorz Niedzwiedzki.
“Lisowicia is the youngest dicynodont that has been found, and the largest terrestrial quadruped from the Triassic Period that wasn't a dinosaur,” he explained.
Since the first find of fossils in 2005, more than 1,000 bones and bone fragments have been discovered, including a fossil in the Polish village of Lisowice which gives the species its name. The full results of the find have been published in the scientific journal Science.