An artist's illustration of Koolasuchus cleelandi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Temnospondyli
Suborder: Stereospondyli
Family: Chigutisauridae
Genus: Koolasuchus
Warren et al., 1997
Binomial name
Koolasuchus cleelandi
Warren et al., 1997

Koolasuchus ( Kool’s crocodile) was a large temnospondyl about the size of a large, modern day crocodile.

Since crocodiles and other crocodylimorphs weren't able to live in Antarctica (even without the ice caps), giant amphibians remained. They speculated to being able to prey upon small to medium sized dinosaurs, such as Leallynasaura.

They lived in Australia 137 to 105 MYA. It was about 4.5 to 5 metres (14.5 - 15 ft) long and weighed 500 kg.

Koolasuchus is one of the last temnospondyl species and larger amphibians to survive up into the Cretaceous.

Most temnospondyl lived and perished through the Carboniferous, Permian, and Triassic. Koolasuchus was probably one of the more successful species of his family of amphibians.

In January 13, 2022, Koolasuchus cleelandi was adopted as a fossil emblem for the state of Victoria, Australia.


Koolasuchus was actually a rather large amphibian for his classification. A flat head lined with teeth made it easy for this predator to grip prey, either dragging smaller animals into the water to drown them or snapping up fish as well as any other similiar sized aquatic vertabrae.

A tapering tail was lined with a small fleshy-ridge, probably like the Spinosaurus's, a streamlined fin-like lobe for swimming through rivers. It walked on four stubby legs, and probably wasn't a threat to any dinosaur on land, but in the water, it was thought to be a lethal animal.

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Koolasuchus. Credit: Bertramus


Koolasuchus was named in 1997 from the Aptian Strzelecki Group of the Wonthaggi Formation in Victoria. It is known from four fragments of the lower jaw and several postcranial bones, including ribs, vertebrae, a fibula, and parts of the pectoral girdle. A jawbone was found in 1978 in a fossil site known from the punch bowl near the town of San Remo. Later specimens were found in 1989 on the nearby Rowell's Beach.

A partial skull is also known but has not been fully prepared. Koolasuchus was named for the paleontologist Lesly Kool. The name is also a pun on the word "cool" in reference to the cold climate of its environment. The type species K. cleelandi is named after geologist Mike Cleeland.



Size Comparission

Little is known about the lifestyle of Koolasuchus, it's known that the amphibian adapted to colder water and weather conditions of Southern Pole; and often thought being an active predator for the smaller to medium sized animals within its habitat.

In popular culture[]

  • Koolasuchus was seen in Walking with Dinosaurs. It was first seen grabbing a dead Leaellynasaura. Later it was seen ambling out of its hibernation to go swim in the river. It was later seen trying to catch a juvenile Leaellynasaura, but missed. It was finally seen returning from the river back to its stream to go back into hibernation, a common form of preservation frogs and toads do today, to survive the freezing winter.
  • Koolasuchus appeared at the beginning in the Disney movie Dinosaur (movie). Shown as swallowing an Iguanodon egg then spitting it out.
  • Koolasuchus appeared in the documentary series called Paleoworld in the episode "Mystery of Dinosaur Cove".
  • Koolasuchus appeared in Jurassic Park: Builder as a limited edition aquatic creature. It uses the Dakosaurus, Geosaurus, and Metriorhynchus animations even though they are unrelated, and share almost no anatomical similarities. Furthemore it is inaccurately portrayed as a saltwater-loving marine animal, while in reality it wouldn't survive due to being a freshwater-loving terrestrial amphibian.
  • Koolasuchus appeared in Jurassic World: The Game as a rare amphibian.
  • Koolasuchus appeared in the mobile game, Jurassic World: Alive as an Epic amphibian. It also has a Gen 2 version, which is a Rare. The Koolasuchus can be fused for the Koolabourgania, which in turn is for the Geminitian.
  • Koolasuchus made an appearance in the Roblox game called "Dinosaur Simulator".