Algarve’s giant amphibian fossils provide starting point to talk

The Algarve Archaeological Association is presenting a talk on ‘Vertebrate Palaeontology in the Algarve’ on Tuesday, January 5 at 2.30pm at the Museu do Trajo in São Brás and later at 5.45pm at the library in Lagoa.

Last year the fossils of a new giant salamander were found in an area of Loulé which used to be a lake in prehistoric times. The adult ones were about two metres long. In honour of its finding place, it was named Metoposaurus algarvensis.

Although it is a distant relative of today’s salamanders, its behaviour was more like today’s crocodile as, with its hundreds of sharp teeth, it was a ferocious carnivore.

The recent finding of this new giant amphibian is the starting point for the talk in English by Professor of Palaeontology Octávio Mateus. He will discuss vertebrate palaeontology findings in the Algarve, from dinosaurs to giant crocodylomorphs, from sharks to mysterious phytosaurs, from Triassic to Neogene.

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