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Prehistoric predator found in Namibia had toilet seat-shaped head

July 6, 2024 · Comment icon 2 comments
Gaiasia jennyae had a rather oddly shaped head. Image Credit: Gabriel Lio et al.
This recently discovered salamander-like apex predator roamed the Earth some 280 million years ago.
Measuring 2.5 meters in length and sporting both deadly interlocking fangs and a head that was shaped like a toilet seat, this remarkable new species - named Gaiasia jennyae - was unearthed by palaeontologists recently in modern day Namibia.

Resembling a very large salamander, this enormous reptile likely roamed swamps and lakes where it sought out and devoured its prey using its powerful jaws.

It lived 280 million years ago, which was long before the dinosaurs had arrived on the scene.

"When we found this enormous specimen just lying on the outcrop as a giant concretion, it was really shocking," said Prof Claudia Marsicano of the University of Buenos Aires.
"I knew just from seeing it that it was something completely different. We were all very excited."

In total, the team found four incomplete fossil skeletons.

"It's got a big, flat, toilet seat-shaped head, which allows it to open its mouth and suck in prey," said study co-author Jason Pardo of the Field Museum in Chicago.

"It has these huge fangs, the whole front of the mouth is just giant teeth."

Source: The Conversation | Comments (2)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Skulduggery 6 days ago
This is awesome. 
Comment icon #2 Posted by Antigonos 6 days ago
The Permian period was a time full of fantastic creatures like this. The Age of Amphibians. A great book on the subject, part of Indiana Press’ Life of the Past series: 

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