Ancient salamander was as long as a car! An artist's rendition of a previously unknown species of crocodile-like "super salamander" that roamed the Earth more than 200 million years ago (AP photos)
Ancient salamander was as long as a car!
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Fossil remains of a previously unknown species of a crocodile-like "super salamander" have been found. The super salamander grew as long as a small car. It was a top predator. It lived more than 200 million years ago.

The fossil remains were found in southern Portugal. The country is in Europe.

The species grew up to six feet in length. It lived in lakes and rivers University of Edinburgh researchers said.

The team said the species has been given the name Metoposaurus algarvensis. It was part of a wider group of primitive amphibians. They were widespread at the time but became extinct. The "super salamander" was the ancestor of modern amphibians such as frogs. They are believed by paleontologists to have lived at the same time the dinosaurs began their dominance.

Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences led the study. He said the new species had hundreds of sharp teeth. It is "weird compared to anything today."

It was at the top of the food chain. It fed mainly on fish. But it was also a danger for newly appeared dinosaurs and mammals that strayed too near the water, Brusatte said.

The team says the find establishes that this group of amphibians lived in a more diverse geographic area than had been thought.

The dig began in 2009. It took several years. The "super salamander" bones were uncovered in a half-meter thick layer of rock in a hillside. The site is "chock-full" of bones, Brusatte said. The team hopes to raise funds to continue excavating the site.

Critical thinking challenge: Why is a site where fossil remains are found called a dig?

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COMMENTS (33)
  • devanburritt-war
    3/27/2015 - 01:46 p.m.

    That is unbelievable that a salamander was as long as a small car. The biggest salamander that I found was only about the size on my hand and I thought that was huge, I cant believe that there is a salamander that lived to be over 6 feet long I would have to see it with my own eyes to believe it.

  • ChloeI4
    3/30/2015 - 10:56 a.m.

    It was called a dig because the super salamander bones were uncoverd in a half- meter thick layer of rock and hillside.

  • John0724-YYCA
    4/03/2015 - 02:32 p.m.

    That is a really cool thing that the super salamander called the Metoposaurus was as big as a alligator or even a small car and if these salamanders grew that big these days then it would have been a major problem for us because it was at the top of the food chain and has hundreds of sharp teeth. But it is good that now the super salamander Metoposaurus are extinct and all we have are tiny salamanders that are some harmless or should I say harmful.

  • carsoncos-Mag
    4/06/2015 - 11:12 a.m.

    I can't believe that there used to be a giant salamander bigger than me. I am glad that it went extinct before I was alive.

  • tybreland
    4/06/2015 - 04:45 p.m.

    The biggest salamander that I found was only about the size on my hand and I thought that was huge, I cant believe that there is a salamander that lived to be over 6 feet long I would have to see it with my own eyes to believe it.Their is so much that human haven't discover yet.It amazing how the world works.

  • Max-Mcc
    4/13/2015 - 04:09 p.m.

    I think that people should watch out. I wish that I saw it

  • LuisAvaca
    4/25/2015 - 12:28 a.m.

    The article talks about a discovery of fossils of a species of crocodile called "super salamander" that lived 200 million years ago in southern Portugal.

    The species grew up to six feet in length. The experts say that living in the era of the dinosaurs and they ate fish.

    The experts need more funds to continue their research.

    My Opinion:
    For me is very important that research of the animals that inhabited the earth millions of years ago. With this we can know how was the planet years ago.

    >Critical thinking challenge: Why is a site where fossil remains are found called a dig?<
    They called "a dig" because researchers need to do extensive excavation on earth to find fossils.

  • PiaMautz
    4/25/2015 - 03:17 p.m.

    Approximately 200 year ago it lived a big and an extraordinary specie, that was named "Super Salamander".
    The "super salamander" grew as long a car, until six feet in lenght also, it lived in lakes and rivers according to University of Edinburgh researchers. It fed fish, but it was also dangerous for dinosaurs and mammals that been near the water.
    These species have been named Metoposaurus algarvensis, and they belong to primitive amphibians.
    The "super salamander" was ancestor to frogs. According to Steve Brusatte (of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences), who study it, the species had hundreds of sharp teeth!, my god, what a horror!


    Critical thinking challenge: Why is a site where fossil remains are found called a dig?
    Because we have to dig for obtain the fosil remains because it is ancient and it is underground.

    I think that is curious how the bones remain intact therefore years.

  • guadalupecastillo
    6/16/2015 - 11:12 p.m.

    Fossil remains were found in southern Portugal. It is said that this fossil is as long as a small car. The fossil is as a "super salamander". It live more than 200 million years ago. This formed part of primitive amphibians. It fed mainly of fish. The place where it was found is full of bones.
    The place where fossil remains are found called a dig . Because the word fossil comes from the Latin fossilis, "dug '. These are the remains or traces of prehistoric organisms activity. These remains are preserved in sedimentary rocks.

  • keeganm-sti
    10/29/2015 - 10:59 a.m.

    WoW im suprized if you know

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