‘New’ Dinosaurs discovered in the Algarve region of Portugal

‘New’ Dinosaurs discovered in the Algarve region of Portugal

by hunter.nigel, 2nd February 2015

Scientists have discovered a new species of massive, toothy amphibians dating from 220 million years ago, said to be top predators and the size of cars, in a dried-up lake in the Algarve.

According to the BBC, hundreds of the creatures probably died when the lake dried up, leaving a huge jumble of bones which is now being excavated near Loulé in the Algarve.
The so-called ‘super salamander’ is thought to be a member of a crocodile-like species and looked like a giant salamander. The creatures were distant relatives of the salamanders of today but much bigger and very much fiercer.
Although related to modern salamanders, the two-metre beast probably lived more like a crocodile, snapping up fish and fighting with rivals on the sea shore. The find has been given the name Metoposaurus algarvensis after the region it was found in.
Dr Steve Brusatte, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, said: “It was as long as a small car.” He said: “It had hundreds of sharp teeth in its big, flat head which kind of looks like a toilet seat when the jaws snap shut.”

“It was the type of fierce predator that the very first dinosaurs had to put up with if they strayed too close to the water, long before the glory days of T-Rex and Brachiosaurus,”

Portuguese palaeontologist Octávio Mateus said that so far two skulls “in very good condition” have been discovered along with remains that the specialists identified as belonging to nine of the
creatures.

Exciting times ahead (And in pre-historic times it seems) if you visit the Algarve this summer.

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