Fossil jaws of Koolasuchus cleelandi.
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria
Illustration of Koolasuchus cleelandi.
Image: Peter Trusler
Source: Peter Trusler
Koolasuchus was a large predator belonging to an ancient group of amphibious tetrapods called temnospondyls. This group dominated for millions of years before virtual extinction at the end of the Triassic. The discovery of this Cretaceous Koolasuchus fossil near San Remo showed that the temnospondyls persisted in Victoria after they had died out elsewhere in the world.
Resembling something between a huge newt and a crocodile, Koolasuchus is thought to have lived in the cool streams of the Victorian rift valley, waiting to ambush its unsuspecting prey.