Ancient salamander was as long as a car!
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" that grew as long as a small car and was a top predator more than 200 million years ago have been found in southern Portugal.

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

The team said the species, given the name Metoposaurus algarvensis, was part of a wider group of primitive amphibians that were widespread at the time but became extinct. They are the ancestors of modern amphibians such as frogs and 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, who led the study, said the new species, which had hundreds of sharp teeth, is "weird compared to anything today."

It was at the top of the food chain, feeding 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 and took several years. The "super salamander" bones were uncovered in a half-meter thick layer of rock in a hillside that 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?

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/teen/ancient-salamander-was-long-car/

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COMMENTS (27)
  • bradant-Goo
    4/06/2015 - 09:02 a.m.

    It is called a dig because its like a project for archaeologists. They excavate the area for bones and other matter. I feel they need to continue digging for bones and other matter. This is history and science in the making.

  • TreyvaunT
    4/06/2015 - 01:38 p.m.

    I always thought salamanders are fun to pick up, and mess with. There is no way I would try to mess with this salamander. I wouldn't be able to because it would eat me by the time I got close to it.

  • Ashleypatt
    4/06/2015 - 09:02 p.m.

    This is another article that is very interesting. To know that there was an actual salamander that is this long is very cool and very neat. Im wondering how many more species are as long as these salamanders or if they are able to grow this long too.

  • Julian10
    4/07/2015 - 03:58 p.m.

    Fossil remains of a previously unknown species of a crocodile-like "super salamander". The species was as long as a small car and was a top predator more than 200 million years ago. The 200 million year old species have been found in southern Portugal. It was at the top of the food chain, feeding mainly on fish, but it was also a danger for newly appeared dinosaurs and mammals that strayed too near the water. The new species, which had hundreds of sharp teeth, is "weird compared to anything today."

  • EvanF319
    4/20/2015 - 10:52 a.m.

    There are a lot of ancient animals that were humongous compared to the ones we have today. It makes me wonder what happened to make them shrink in size.

  • 9alexr
    5/27/2015 - 12:57 p.m.

    When a clicked on it I thought they discovered a salamander as big as a car but when I read it I was a little disappointed but at least its still interesting. It is pretty cool that they were top predater because when I think of salamander I think of a non vicious lizard. Was this the same age as the t-rex existed if it was was the t-rex one of its predaters.

  • cheyenne.h0722
    6/02/2015 - 03:02 p.m.

    They look like alligators. I can not imagine they still being around today. I wonder if it would eat humans if so i am glad it is not here now. But it would probably not.

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