Fossils of large salamander-like predators with sharp fangs that preceded the dinosaurs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have discovered fossils of a giant salamander-like animal with sharp fangs. Regulated water Before First came the dinosaurs.

The predator, which was larger than a person, likely used its broad, flat head and front teeth to scoop up and swallow unsuspecting prey, the researchers said. Its skull was about 2 feet (60 centimeters) long.

„It acts as an aggressive stapler,” said Michael Coates, a biologist at the University of Chicago who was not involved in the work.

Fossilized remains of four species collected a decade ago, including a partial skull and a vertebra, were analysed. Findings Caycea gennia was published Wednesday in the journal Nature. This creature existed about 40 million years before the dinosaurs.

Open the image model

This July 2, 2018, photo provided by Claudia Marsicano shows a nearly complete skeleton from fossils of a giant salamander-like creature recovered in Namibia at the Paleontology Laboratory in Cape Town, South Africa. (Claudia Marcicano via AP)

Researchers have long studied such ancient predators to trace the origins of tetrapods: four-legged animals that climbed on the ground with fingers instead of flippers and evolved into amphibians, birds and mammals, including humans.

Most of the earliest tetrapod fossils come from warm, prehistoric coal swamps at the equator in what is now North America and Europe. But these latest remains, some 280 million years old, were found in modern-day Namibia in Africa, once surrounded by glaciers and ice sheets.

„The early story of the first tetrapods is more complicated than we thought,” said co-author Claudia Marcicano of the University of Buenos Aires, who was part of the research.

The creature’s name comes from the Kai-as rock formation in Namibia, where the fossils were found, and for the late paleontologist Jennifer Clack, who studied how tetrapods evolved.


The Associated Press receives support from the Health and Science Department of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Education Media Group. AP is solely responsible for all content.

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres e-mail nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *