Friday, September 12, 2008

Antarctic Salamander-Like Predator Fossil Found

A giant fossil of a salamander like predator who lived 240 million years ago has been found in Antarctica. Back then Antarctica wasn't that cold, like it's now. This made it possible for the salamander like creature to survive.

The Kryostega Collinsoni as it's called was one of the largest animals walking on Antarctica and lived during the middle Triassic Period (251 to 199 million years ago). The Kryostega is related to the salamander and the frog, it resembled a modern crocodile, despite it being an amphibious creature and not a reptile. Kryostega's side teeth were about 1.2 inches (3 centimeters) tall and about the size of an adult humans pinky finger (you can clearly see the teeth on the picture above). Some of its palate teeth were nearly twice as thick and grew up to 1.6 inches (4 centimeters) in height.

These amphibions are part of lineage of amphibious creatures called temnospondyls which had tiny teeth attached to their palates. The Kryostega mainly stayed close to the water and fed on fish and other amphibions.

As said before Antarctica wasn't the place we know now, all of the continents were still attached together and formed one super continent called Pangaea, which had a relative warm climate. In that period the dinosaurs didn't exist yet, but their ancestors the dinosauromorphs already roamed the Earth.

This fossil is a really great find and will help scientists to shed light on the little known history of Antarctica.

1 comment:

John said...

Wow, interesting I study archeology, but I'm still a student saw, I like to surf on the web looking for news like this one, Once I read about sildenafil, suppostly was a gigant dinosaur that lived 20.000 a.c.
Thanks for sharing.