Quirks & Quarks

Super-Sized Salamander Was Top Predator

230 million years ago a massive amphibian feasted on small dinosaurs and proto-mammals.

A two-meter long amphibian dominated 230 million years ago

A super-sized version of the salamander we know today lived in present-day Portugal, about 230 million years ago.

The newly discovered species was 2-metres long and spent most of its time in water, feeding on fish. But Dr. Stephen Brusatte, a paleontologist from the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, believes the salamander-like creature came on land to feast on small dinosaurs and mammals that ventured too close to the water's edge.

This giant amphibian was one of many casualties of the mass extinction that came with the break-up of the super-continent Pangea.

Related Links

Paper in The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
- University of Edinburgh release
AP/CBC News story
LiveScience story 
- Dr. Brusatted previously on Quirks