STL Science Center

STL Science Center

20 January 2017

Koolasuchus Looks Like A Salamander

Almost all of the image of Koolasuchus that one finds online make the animal look like nothing more than a enlarged ancient salamander trudging about in the swamps and rivers of the Cretaceous of Australia. The illustrations and graphics of Koolasuchus are almost always very dark as well, which may make a lot of sense for a crocodilian-like animal employing ambush tactics from underwater to hunt. A high number of images also make use of bright yellow and orange colors on Koolasuchus. Some salamanders do indeed possess these bright colors, so the realistic application to extant taxa that are similar is acceptable. Koolasuchus may have, being hypothesized as an ambush predator, slightly less likely to be a successful predator if their prey was capable of seeing them from a distance. Either way, there are a number of great illustrations to choose from to share today. The most dynamic of these images, however, shows a pair of the giant animals swimming in relatively calm, deep waters. A third swims through the background in the darker waters of the lake or river. The contrails of the moving limbs make the animals appear even more dynamic as they dive and surface and swim about their habitat. In this image we see that there is potential for these animals to be a lot more active and interesting than typically portrayed.
©Jacek Major

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