by Inigo del Castillo in New Trends on Tuesday 19 November 2013

Be thankful that Australia only has 2000 species of spiders. It could get worse, you know. There could be 2000 species of spiders AND a Godzilla-like Platypus in your backyard, if you happen to live in the Stone Age. Scientists have discovered a tooth fossil of a giant extinct species of Platypus with powerful teeth in the Riversleigh site in Queensland.

They believe the animal roamed the rivers of northern Australia about 5 to 15 million years ago. The new species was officially named Obdurodon tharalkooschild which we assume translates to ‘I will eat you and your child’.

This close relative of the modern-day Platypus is said to be twice as large. It had a set of teeth that could effectively kill frogs and turtles, whereas its modern-day cousins could not. According to Professor Mike Archer from the University of New South Wales, ‘We’d never seen anything this big so it really knocked our socks off to think that platypus could get this big’.

It’s also believed to have double the poison of a normal Platypus. ‘We already know that the modern platypus has venom on the spurs of the hind leg that can be incredibly painful, that can stop a grown man in his tracks for hours’, said Archer. ‘If you scale that up to perhaps two to three times the amount of venom in an animal much larger than that, you suddenly start thinking about this animal as a predator’.

Though it may be good news to hear that there are no more Godzilla-like creatures like these to possibly harm us, it is disconcerting to know that this could be a warning sign of the possible fate that awaits the modern-day Platypus, especially considering the long and steady decline of their species.