Prehistoric Salamander was as big as minivan
Researchers have found fossils of a prehistoric salamander-like species. Now they are of the opinion that these beasts were the undisputed owners of the earth some 200 million years ago.
These massive predators that scientists call Metoposaurus algarvensis, must have been huge and fearsome, say researchers who found the fossils buried in Portugal.
The fossil was discovered inside a pristine lake in Southern Portugal. The most amazing aspect of their life was the fact that they not just lived and survived when there were massive dinosaurs around, they also ruled over them.
Researchers have discovered their huge bones that were found buried near the lake. They were up to 2m in length and lived in lakes and rivers during the Late Triassic Period, living much like crocodiles do today and feeding mainly on fish, said the researchers.
Researchers claim that this species, which is the first member of the group to be discovered in the Iberian Peninsula, were distant relatives of the salamanders of today. The discovery reveals that this group of amphibians was more geographically diverse than previously thought. Fossil remains of species belonging to the group have been found in parts of modern day Africa, Europe, India and North America. Differences in the skull and jaw structure of the fossils found in Portugal revealed they belong to a separate species.
While talking about the finding, Dr Steve Brusatte, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, who led the study says “amphibian looks like something out of a bad monster movie. 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.” The study is published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.