Ancient Giant Killer Salamander Found

By | September 12, 2008

When the world’s land was congealed in one supercontinent 240 million years ago, Antarctica wasn’t the forbiddingly icy place it is now. But paleontologists have found a previously unknown amphibious predator species that probably still made it less than hospitable.

The species, named Kryostega collinsoni, is a temnospondyl, a prehistoric amphibian distantly related to modern salamanders and frogs. K. collinsoni resembled a modern crocodile, and probably was about 15 feet in length with a long and wide skull even flatter than a crocodile’s.

In addition to large upper and lower teeth at the edge of the mouth, temnospondyls often had tiny teeth on the roof of the palate. However, fossil evidence shows the teeth on the roof of the mouth of the newly found species were probably as large as those at the edge of the mouth.

“Its teeth, compared to other amphibians, were just enormous. It leads us to believe this animal was a predator taking down large prey,” said Christian Sidor, a University of Washington associate professor of biology and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture at the UW. – physorg

3 thoughts on “Ancient Giant Killer Salamander Found

  1. Xeno Post author

    Vincent, wikiansers says “Yes, Black Salamanders are poisonous. They, like all amphibians, excrete a poisonous liquid through their skin. Although highly toxic it is harmless to the touch, just be sure to wash your hands before and after you handle any amphibian.” The animal’s name was “Mike Toothmouth” and his species was Kryostega collinsoni.

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