A team of researchers at the University of Edinburgh recently found the remains of bones that belonged to salamanders. Scientists stated that the salamanders were the size of cars and lived about 220 million years ago. Even though these salamanders are related to the modern salamander, the scientists have stated that they most likely behaved more like crocodiles.
Dr. Steve Brusatte was a paleontologist who led the study. He says that these salamanders most likely were at the top of the food chain. He also stated that the salamanders were one of the main predators in the world during the time that they were alive.
The salamanders had very big jaws, which were used to eat fish. They were also amphibians, so they could not live far away from the water. Additionally, Dr. Brusatte stated that the salamanders would have posed a threat to the dinosaurs or other animal that got close to them. In fact, the scientists believe that the salamanders feasted on dinosaurs.
The researchers found the fossilized bones of at least 10 salamanders. They believe that they will find hundreds more. They have only explored a small portion of the land. Dr. Brusatte says that finding more fossils will help them find out more about the salamanders. They will also be able to find out more about their habitat and their environment.
The researchers also referred to the species as “super salamanders“. They say that a mass extinction occurred about 201 million years ago, and it it wiped out these salamanders and other amphibians like it. These creatures lived on a super continent called Pangea, which started to break apart around the same time that these creatures had become extinct. This extinction made it possible for dinosaurs to become the top predators in the land.
Susan Evans is a palentology professor at the University College London. She says that the scientists discovery is amazing. She also stated this is the first time that the specimen has been found in southern Europe. However, she has stated that similar specimens have been found in the field.
Even though this salamander is related to the modern salamander, Evans says that they are distant relatives. She also stated that humans are distant relatives of the duck-billed platypus.