Godzilla platypus, a fond nickname for an ancient animal, is being examined this week, as a new fossil of this “giant” mammal has been found Down Under recently. Larger than a child, the world’s biggest platypus is long extinct, but once lived in what now stands as Australia up to 15 million years ago, cites new evidence and teeth records, the CS Monitor reports this Tuesday, Nov. 5.
A Godzilla platypus may be a bit of an exaggeration, but this large mammal would have shocked many people today with its considerable size. Paleontologist teams from the University of South Wales in Australia recently found three new species in fact, discovered through just one molar fossil they came across in Queensland, Down Under.
Based on dating processes and the size of the molar, the species is being titled Obdurodon tharalkooschild, as the ancient platypus is believed to have grown just over 3.3 feet, roughly twice the size of today’s more diminutive version of the aquatic animal.
While the platypuses of today don’t have teeth records to compare to the Godzilla platypus’ molar, the fossil does reveal that this unique animal may have been even more distinct than other mammals. Known for its duck-like bill, webbed feet, and the exclusive club of mammals that lay eggs, platypus teeth are also highly unlike others.
"The overall shape of it, including the arrangement of the bumps on the top of the tooth, the way that those are arranged in a distinct shape, and the arrangement, shape and size of the roots are all distinctive," said one of the members on the Australian paleontology research team. "At least to somebody who knows what they are looking at."
While this Godzilla platypus won’t be scaring movie goers anytime soon, the historic fossil of this “giant” animal does show us a new glimpse of life and the past.