Ancient superpredator got big by front-loading its growth in its youth

Whatcheeria, a six-foot-long salamander-like creature that lived 340 million years ago, was the T. rex of its time: the biggest, baddest predator in its habitat. A new study reveals how they grew to their ‘giant’ size: instead of growing slow and steady throughout their lives like many modern reptiles and amphibians, they did most of their growing when they were young.Whatcheeria, a six-foot-long salamander-like creature that lived 340 million years ago, was the T. rex of its time: the biggest, baddest predator in its habitat. A new study reveals how they grew to their ‘giant’ size: instead of growing slow and steady throughout their lives like many modern reptiles and amphibians, they did most of their growing when they were young.

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