Human-sized fanged salamander offers clues to evolution

Fangs of memories.

Tyrannosaurus rex was not the first toothed predator on Earth.

Forty million years before dinosaurs became the world’s apex predators, there was a human-sized salamander with four-inch-long fangs, according to a stunning study published in the journal “nature.”

A fossilized skeleton of an amphibian has been discovered in Namibia by scientists from Argentina.

“It has huge canines, and the entire front of the mouth is giant teeth,” said study co-author Jason Pardo, a postdoctoral researcher at the Field Museum in Chicago. In the current situation Regarding the aquatic creature.

Named “Gaiasia jennyae” after the Gai-as Formation where it was found, this prehistoric predator lived 280 million years ago during the Permian period, when there was a single continent, Pangaea, As reported by the Washington Post.


“Its head is large and flattened, like a toilet seat, allowing it to open its mouth and suck up prey,” said study co-author Jason Pardo of the Field Museum in Chicago. Gabriel Liu / SWNS

The beast was between six and eight feet long, and likely roamed the “bottoms of swamps and lakes,” where it was the main predator, Pardo hypothesized.

This powerful-toothed animal would have attacked and killed smaller creatures with its “large, interlocking fangs” and unique two-foot-long skull.

“It has a large, flat head, shaped like a toilet seat, which allows it to open its mouth and suck up prey,” said Pardo, who hypothesized that the big-headed swamp dweller relied on surprise rather than speed to dispatch its food.

It has been hypothesized that the giant salamander’s flat head was good for grabbing and sucking up its victims, but it was not very “hydrodynamic.”


storehouse.
The salamander is named Gaiasia jennyae after the Gai-as Formation in Namibia where it was discovered. Roger M.H. Smith / SWNS

“Fast predators like pike or gar tend to have long, narrow faces that can move more quickly through the water; that’s not what we see in “Gayasia” Bardo said.

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In this way the creature is similar to Chinese giant salamanderthe world’s largest amphibian, which also attacks and sucks its prey with its wide mouth.

The extreme dentition is not the only unique feature of this creature. Gaysia is a descendant of the stem tetrapods, which eventually evolved into mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, also known as crown tetrapods.

“It’s really, really amazing that Jayasia “It’s very old,” Pardo said. “It was related to creatures that went extinct about 40 million years ago.”

Furthermore, the salamander’s location—which at the time was parallel to the northernmost point of modern Antarctica—is unique in that it was located far from its compatriots.

“Gayassia was found farther south than its close relatives that lived in what is now North America and Europe,” Anthony Romilio, a paleontologist at the University of Queensland in Australia who was not involved in the study, told The Washington Post.

This cooler habitat suggests that “early tetrapods were more widespread and adaptable to different climates than previously thought,” he added.

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