Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Salamander From Hell

On the heels of the walking crododile from hell, we now have a car-sized salamander from a lake bed in Portugal.  The animal, named Metoposaurus algarvensis, is dated to the Triassic,and died out sometime around160 mya. Until then, as the story notes:
"Most modern amphibians are pretty tiny and harmless. But back in the Triassic, these giant predators would have made lakes and rivers pretty scary places to be," study co-author Richard Butler, of the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, said in a statement. [See Images of the Super Salamander and Its Fossils]

Like other metoposaurids, the amphibian sported a big, broad skull and hundreds of sharp teeth. When its jaws were snapped shut, the beast's head "really looks like a toilet seat," said study co-author Steve Brusatte, of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. The skull was "circular-shaped with very thin, flat upper and lower jaws," and it would've flapped around this skull, snagging fish in the area's rivers and lakes, he added. Its puny arms and legs meant it likely couldn't move around much on land and thus would have spent much of its time in the water, Brusatte said.
Here is the artist's rendering from the LiveScience story.

As one commenter put it, it is very hard to incorporate this kind of animal into a creationist perspective. How would something like this not have been mentioned in the Bible? Or, for that matter, the snake from hell, the crocodiles from hell (all three of them) or the frog from hell?And that isn't even counting the tyrannosaurids. 

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