A previously undiscovered species of crocodile-like amphibian that lived during the rise of dinosaurs was among Earth's top predators more than 200 million years ago, a study shows. Palaeontologists identified the prehistoric species -- which looked like giant salamanders -- after excavating bones buried on the site of an ancient lake in southern Portugal. The species were distant relatives of the salamanders of today, the team says. The discovery reveals that this group of amphibians was more geographically diverse than previously thought. Fossil remains of species belonging to the group have been found in parts of modern day Africa, Europe, India and North America. Differences in the skull and jaw structure of the fossils found in Portugal revealed they belong to a separate species. Most members the group of giant salamander-like amphibians was wiped out during a mass extinction 201 million years ago, long before the death of the dinosaurs.