40 million years before dinosaurs, a human-sized salamander with four-inch fangs, named “Gaiasia jennyae,” was the apex predator. Unearthed in Namibia, this 280-million-year-old amphibian had a unique two-foot-long skull and a big, flat, toilet seat-shaped head, allowing it to ambush prey in swamps and lakes. The study, published in “Nature,” highlights its interlocking large fangs and reliance on surprise rather than speed for hunting.

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