Remains of big ancient croc-like creature found

2015-03-24 19:49
An artist's rendition of a previously unknown species of crocodile-like "super salamander" that roamed the Earth more than 200 million years ago. (Joana Bruno, AP, University of Edinburgh)

An artist's rendition of a previously unknown species of crocodile-like "super salamander" that roamed the Earth more than 200 million years ago. (Joana Bruno, AP, University of Edinburgh)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - Scientists in Portugal have uncovered the fossils of a previously unknown crocodile-like creature that was among the Earth's top predators more than 200 million years ago.

The remains found on the site of an ancient lake suggest the creature was like a giant salamander, according to a study released on Monday.

The primitive amphibians grew up to 2m in length and lived in lakes and rivers during the Late Triassic Period.

They lived much like today's crocodiles and fed mainly on fish, researchers from the University of Edinburgh said in the study, published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

The species, which has been named Metoposaurus algarvensis, lived at the same time the first dinosaurs began a dominance which lasted for over 150 million years, the team said.

These creatures were part of the ancestral stock from which modern amphibians like frogs and newts evolved, the team reported.

"This new amphibian looks like something out of a bad monster movie," said Steve Brusatte, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, who led the study.

"It was as long as a small car and had hundreds of sharp teeth in its big flat head, which kind of looks like a toilet seat when the jaws snap shut. It was the type of fierce predator that the very first dinosaurs had to put up with if they strayed too close to the water, long before the glory days of T rex and Brachiosaurus."

Most members of the group of giant salamander-like amphibians were wiped out during a mass extinction 201 million years ago, long before the death of the dinosaurs, the team said.

Read more on:    portugal

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.