Sometimes thought of as mythical, the fossil of a giant animal referred to as the "Godzilla platypus" has been found. The Telegraph reported on Nov. 5, 2013, that scientists have discovered a tooth of the massive animal that was thought to have roamed the planet five to 15 million years ago.
The new/old species is named Obdurodon tharalkooschild and was identified by a single, but incredibly distinctive, tooth found in Riversleigh in the northeastern Australian state of Queensland.
The Godzilla platypus, as it has come to be called, had powerful teeth and was said to be over twice the size of the common-day version of the animal.
"It pretty well blew our minds," University of New South Wales professor Mike Archer told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. of the animal, which is estimated to be about twice the size of the modern platypus.
"And then bang out of the blue drops this monster. Platypus Godzilla."
Scientists have long theorized that the platypus - a combination of bird, mammal, and reptile characteristics - had lost its teeth and gradually become small over the years. This discovery has blown that theory out of the water.
"We didn't expect this. It's a huge platypus at the wrong time. But there it was," said Archer of the one-metre (three foot) species.
Some have said that the species was the size of a small child and probably fed on crayfish, freshwater crustaceans, frogs, and small turtles. It is believed that this single tooth is more than enough evidence to say it is a new species.
Scientists have once thought that the long-term viability of the platypus was one to be concerned about. Knowing now, with this discovery of the Godzilla platypus, that other platypus are now gone adds to those concerns.