Scientists believe they have discovered an extinct species of platypus previously unknown to modern science. Dubbed the "Godzilla Platypus," the creature is believed to be more than twice the size of its modern cousin. Paleontologists found a fossilized tooth they believe belonged to the "Godzilla Platypus" while digging in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area in Queensland, Australia. "Discovery of this new species was a shock to us because prior to this, the fossil record suggested that the evolutionary tree of platypuses was relatively linear," said Dr. Michael Archer a co-author of the study from the University of New South Wales.

By measuring the molar tooth, the scientists found they were able to determine that the prehistoric platypus could grow up to 3 feet, which is two times bigger than the platypuses of today. The "Godzilla Platypus" is also larger than the previously discovered prehistoric platypus on record. The modern platypus does not have teeth, but the fossilized tooth recently discovered and other fossils on record prove the prehistoric creature did have teeth. According to reports, the scientists were able to identify what creature the tooth came from due to its distinct features.

The tooth of a platypus is fairly easy to identify. Study co-author Rebecca Plan spoke with LiveScience.com saying "The overall shape of [the tooth], including the arrangement of the bumps on the top of the tooth, the way that those are arranged in a distinctive shape, and the arrangement, shape and size of the roots are all distinctive. At least to somebody who knows what they are looking at." The tooth gave the scientists an idea of what the "Godzilla Platypus" ate, including small insects, crayfish, certain fish, amphibians and small turtles."

The team of scientists that made the discovery believe that the fossilized tooth belonged to a close relative of the modern platypus and not a direct ancestor. The modern platypus is a nocturnal animal that lives in waterside burrows in eastern Australia. The modern adult platypus has no teeth. "It pretty well blew our minds," said Professor Mike Archer from the University of New South Wales to ABC. "It looks like a modern platypus on steroids. We'll have to call it 'platypus Godzilla.' It definitely had good teeth and was a very robust animal with a big brush looking snout."

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