Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

New Species of Giant Amphibian Discovered in Australia

Giant Amphibian Discovered in Australia

In an unexpected twist, a 240-million-year-old amphibian fossil was discovered in the 1990s, not during a dedicated excavation but while building a garden retaining wall.

This incredible find, now formally named Arenaerpeton supinatus, was unearthed by a retired chicken farmer from rocks sourced from a local quarry.

Recognizing its significance, the farmer generously donated the fossil to the Australian Museum in Sydney. Since then, scientists from the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) and the Australian Museum have taken a closer look, unveiling its history and importance.

Arenaerpeton Supinatus Description

Lachlan Hart, a palaeontologist with affiliations at both UNSW Science and the Australian Museum, expressed his excitement over the fossil discovery, named Arenaerpeton supinatus, which translates to ‘supine sand creeper’. What makes this find truly special is that it showcases almost the entire skeleton, along with rare imprints of its skin.

Giant Amphibian Discovered in Australia

“It’s an outstanding specimen from the temnospondyls group, creatures that roamed the earth before and during the era of dinosaurs,” explained Mr. Hart, who is also pursuing his PhD at UNSW’s School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences. “It’s not every day that we come across such well-preserved fossils, especially with both the head and body intact and traces of soft tissue.”

Habitat and Appearance

Around 240 million years ago during the Triassic period, the waters of what we now call the Sydney Basin were home to the Arenaerpeton. This ancient creature likely preyed on fish such as Cleithrolepis, but not much is known about its other prehistoric neighbors, says Mr. Hart.

Giant Amphibian Discovered in Australia

At first glance, you might mistake Arenaerpeton for its modern relative, the Chinese Giant Salamander, especially given their similar head shapes. However, a closer look at the fossil suggests significant differences. “Its ribs and preserved soft tissue outline suggest a much bulkier body than today’s salamanders,” notes Mr. Hart. “And its mouth was a bit of a showstopper, complete with fierce teeth and a pair of large tusks.”

Discovery Importance

Mr. Hart is particularly thrilled about the discovery of Arenaerpeton, not just because of its age but also its impressive size. While it stretches a remarkable 1.2 meters from head to tail, many of its contemporaries were quite petite.

“The fascinating thing is that even though Arenaerpeton lived 120 million years before the last of its kind, the temnospondyls, some of them grew to be quite gigantic,” Mr. Hart shares. “Considering their fossil records stretch across two mass extinction events, maybe their increasing size had something to do with their remarkable resilience.”

Dr. Matthew McCurry, who teaches at UNSW’s School of BEES and is also the Curator of Palaeontology at the Australian Museum, couldn’t agree more about the significance of the find. “I’d say it’s one of the most notable discoveries in New South Wales over the last few decades,” he comments, adding that he had the pleasure of co-authoring the study on it. “It’s an iconic piece of our fossil lineage.”

The research has been showcased in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, and if you’re keen to see this ancient amphibian up close, you’ll soon get the chance. The Australian Museum in Sydney will be exhibiting the fossil later this year.


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Related Articles

Top Trending

po box 6072 sioux falls sd
The Long Awaited Mystery of PO Box 6072 Sioux Falls SD [Solved]
trails carolina death list
The Trails Carolina Death List: Insights into Wilderness Therapy Controversies
turk lesnar
The Relationship of Turk Lesnar With His Father Brock Lesnar [Untold Story]
Top Surnames American countries
Discover the Top Surname in Every American Country [2024 Update]
Bitcoin to Ethereum, Discover how Brazil is embracing cryptocurrencies
Leverage Trading Crypto: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners and Advanced Traders

LIFESTYLE

Top Surnames American countries
Discover the Top Surname in Every American Country [2024 Update]
Taurine Key to Extending Life Research Finds
Taurine: The Secret Ingredient for a Longer Life? Latest Research Insights
Strategies to Beat Procrastination
Beat Procrastination: Effective Strategies to Stay Productive!
Egyptian Cotton Sheets for Your Bed
A Beginner's Guide to Choosing the Perfect Egyptian Cotton Sheets for Your Bed
Long Lehenga Choli
Elegance Redefined: Navigating the Diverse World of Long Lehenga Choli Designs

Entertainment

turk lesnar
The Relationship of Turk Lesnar With His Father Brock Lesnar [Untold Story]
Uncensored Anime
15 Best Uncensored Animes to Watch in 2024 [Ranked]
Taylor Swift Shares Emotional Singapore Connection
Taylor Swift Shares Emotional Singapore Connection on Eras Tour
Ugly Movie Characters
15 Most Ugly Movie Characters You Have Ever Seen [Ranked]
Stelle Ciccone
The Inspiring Journey of Stelle Ciccone: Madonna's Adopted Daughter

GAMING

Nintendo lawsuit Rhode Island Game Piracy
Nintendo Takes Legal Action Against Rhode Island Company Over Game Piracy Claims
Best Online Pokies in Australia
The Best Online Pokies in Australia
Sports Betting vs Online Casinos
Sports Betting vs Online Casinos: Where is it Easier to Win?
Play Games for Bitcoin
Can You Play Games for Bitcoin? 
Most Played Games at Online Casinos
Discover the Most Played Games at Online Casinos

BUSINESS

Bitcoin to Ethereum, Discover how Brazil is embracing cryptocurrencies
Leverage Trading Crypto: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners and Advanced Traders
Popular is Crypto
The Ultimate Cryptocurrency Trading Strategy for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide
Crypto Trading Bots
Crypto Trading Bots: The Ultimate Guide to Automated Cryptocurrency Trading
Crypto Futures Trading
Crypto Futures Trading: Beginner-Friendly Strategies and Advice
Best Crypto Trading App in 2024
The Best Crypto Trading App in 2024: Top Mobile Platforms for Cryptocurrency Exchange

TECHNOLOGY

Sam Altman Clarifies no Ai Creatures in Development
OpenAI's Sam Altman Clarifies: No AI "Creatures" in Development
Spotify Epic Vs Apple DMA Compliance
Spotify & Epic Claim Apple's App Store Fails to Meet DMA Standards
Technology Reshaping Share Market
How Technology is Reshaping the Share Market Investing Landscape?
Integra Sources
Integra Sources: Custom Project Development Services
Sam Altman OpenAI Investigation Investor Claims
OpenAI & Sam Altman Probe: Investor Mislead Claims Amidst Leadership Turmoil

HEALTH

CDC Advice
New CDC Advice: Seniors Should Get 2nd Updated COVID Shot Now!
Tata Institute Rs 100 Cancer prevention Tablet
Tata Institute's Breakthrough: Rs 100 Tablet May Prevent Cancer Recurrence
Norovirus Cases Surge US Northeast CDC Report
US Norovirus Surge: CDC Highlights Spike in Northeast Cases
Top Healthiest and Unhealthiest Countries
Top Healthiest and Unhealthiest Countries Globally - 2024 Rankings
Best Way to Prevent Gum Disease
What is the Best Way to Prevent Gum Disease?