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Science PopWrapped | Science

Ancient Salamander Was The Size Of A Car

Adam Horn | PopWrapped Author

Adam Horn

03/26/2015 11:22 pm
PopWrapped | Science
Ancient Salamander Was The Size Of A Car | Salamander
Media Courtesy of CBSNews
Researchers in Portugal have discovered fossil remnants of a new species of ancient salamander that had razor sharp teeth and were about the size of a car. Released in Tuesday's edition of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, the salamander named Metoposaurus algarvensis is described as being 7 feet long and was more similar to a modern day alligator than the salamanders that exist today. "This new amphibian looks like something out of a bad monster movie," said Steve Brusatte from the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, the study's lead author. "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 location of these fossils make the find particularly exciting. Due to being sound in Portugal researches hope fossils like these can help shed some light as to the reasons for the breakup of Pangaea, the huge land mass that many believe broke apart to form our modern day continents. "It didn't just break up overnight. It took tens of millions of years and it broke up along the margins of the Atlantic Ocean today," Brusatte said. "Portugal is right on the edge of the Atlantic so these guys would have been living right in the middle of this rift."

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