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Bizarre Prehistoric Crocodiles

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  • Registered Users Posts: 960 ✭✭✭ darjeeling


    Boar-croc? What's all this? Aren't they supposed to be working on crocoduck?


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    This might just be the single coolest looking creature ever discovered. It's basically an upright crocodile with an armadillo like shell that was capable of both digging and chewing! It seems to have eaten a combination of meat and plants.
    Dubbed Armadillosuchus arrudai, the newly described species of crocodile roamed the arid interior of Brazil about 90 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period, scientists said.

    Full article here.

    090708-armadillo-crocodile-brazil_big.jpg
    Photo by Paul Jurgens


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    I just realised something... It's Beast wars Terragator! :eek:

    1573965958_c32e5328dc.jpg?v=0


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Well, Paul Sereno has made a nice little page on 'BoarCroc', and a few of its relatives here.

    Also, check out this radio interview with Sereno about 'BoarCroc'.

    Article on 'DuckCroc'.

    dn1947-1_180.jpg
    'DuckCroc' skull.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭ Kess73


    Galvasean wrote: »
    The paper has yet to be published so alas not too much info on the beastie just yet. Nonetheless it looks to be a very exciting find.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gNou7cziIC3fAol6xlzws_MY7KLAD96BJF300

    If you'd like to know more about the benefit itself click here.

    mgreer-dd7-50407-01.jpg
    Crikey, look at those chompers!

    Watch this space for more info.





    Quite similar to how the skull of a Nile Croc looks today.


    9259dd9a137b88cdfa76092a85985ffa.jpg


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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Kess73 wrote: »
    Quite similar to how the skull of a Nile Croc looks today.


    9259dd9a137b88cdfa76092a85985ffa.jpg

    The skull of 'BoarCroc' is less robust than that of the nile crocodile. Also, the teeth have more variety, extremes in sizes, some very small, some massive. In the nile crocodile, while the teeth do vary in size, their extremes are not as afar apart.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭ Kess73


    Galvasean wrote: »
    The skull of 'BoarCroc' is less robust than that of the nile crocodile. Also, the teeth have more variety, extremes in sizes, some very small, some massive. In the nile crocodile, while the teeth do vary in size, their extremes are not as afar apart.




    Hence why I said similar and not almost the same. :p


    It is closer to the Nile Croc than the skulls of many of the other large modern day crocs. I choose the Nile croc because it is one of the modern day corocs with the biggest variance in size between it largest and smaller teeth, whereas the likes of a saltie has a much smaller variance in tooth size difference.


    On the subject of croc skulls, there is an awesome specimen of a skull that belonged to a massive saltie in the Boston Museum of Natural History. The skull was got in the early 1800's when a rogue croc was killed.

    The skull itself is over five feet in length, which would suggest a croc with an overall length in the region of 30 feet.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 84,834 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight




  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭ Kess73






    Your horse chasing links has made me decide to look for a link to that croc skull in Boston. The reason it was killed was because it killed some people but the straw that broke the camal's back for the land owner was when it started to kill his horses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭ Kess73


    Found one link.


    Read down to the Mugger's skull bit.


    Plus there are some interesting articles before you get there. :)




    http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2001/07.19/14-talltales.html


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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Kess73 wrote: »
    The skull itself is over five feet in length, which would suggest a croc with an overall length in the region of 30 feet.

    It's a shame we never get crocodiles that reach their maximum size these days. They grow constantly throughout their lives but never reach their maximum potential. Usually due to poaching or destruction of habitat.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭ Kess73


    Galvasean wrote: »
    It's a shame we never get crocodiles that reach their maximum size these days. They grow constantly throughout their lives but never reach their maximum potential. Usually due to poaching or destruction of habitat.


    Yeah it is such a rarity these days. Gustave in Burundi is the only well known one that springs to mind of a croc that has reached an exceptional size for it's type in the wild . 21 to 22 feet is an amazing size for a Nile crocodile. The last confirmed Gustave sighting was earlier this year.


    There is a confirmed size of slightly over 7 metres for a saltie in India too, but 7 m for a saltie is not as exceptional a size as nealry the same length for a Nile croc.


    I am still holding out hope for a real giant saltie to get found in the Northern Territory or Northern Queensland in Oz.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Apparently the orinoko crocodile of South America could be the biggest modern croc. However, they have become very rare now due to overhunting, with an entire generation effectively culled. There are virtually no orinokos above a certain age left, so the largest ones of today (5metres in lenght) have yet to reach their maximum size potential. Although they are now protected they are not likely to increase in number as they share a habitat with smaller, but much more numerous caimens which breed faster. The caimens are effectively out competing the larger orinokos and actively feeding on their young, preventing their population from restabalizing.
    So sadly, we may never witness the full sized orinoko in the wild.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭ Kess73


    I thought that the largest estimated size of an Orinoco crocodile was 7m, based on fossil records, and growth rates of tagged specimens.


    It is a shame that their entire population is down to only a few hundred crocs.


    We could take the same arguement with the salt water crocs in terms of never getting to see one get to it's maximum size either. We have confirmed salties of 7m and around the two ton mark, so if they were not overhunted and had their natural enviroments destroyed then an 8m saltie or even a 9m brute could be a possibility.


    I will still hold out hope for an 8m giant though. :)


    For some reason you bringing up the Orinoco crocs brought the Cuban croc to mind.

    The Cuban is the most intelligent croc, and cannot be kept in any numbers in a zoo due to the fact it pack hunts with a similar level of coordination as a wolf pack.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Just goes to show that even modern crocs truly are much more diverse than they are often given credit for.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭ Kess73


    Very true, there is great diversity amongst the dino descendents that are with us nowadays, both in reptile and avian form.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 84,834 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight


    crocs aren't dino descendents ;)

    lots of animals are smaller than they used to be, cod used to be 5 foot long and most domesticated animals are smaller and lighter coloured than their wild relatives


    30% of african elephants no longer have tusks as a result of last centuries hunting - considering how slow they reproduce it shows how fast evolution can be when there is enough selective pressure


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭ Kess73


    crocs aren't dino descendents ;)

    lots of animals are smaller than they used to be, cod used to be 5 foot long and most domesticated animals are smaller and lighter coloured than their wild relatives


    30% of african elephants no longer have tusks as a result of last centuries hunting - considering how slow they reproduce it shows how fast evolution can be when there is enough selective pressure




    Technically no, but they belong in the same sub class as dinos, as do birds. They all fall under the lineage of Archosauria, and seeing as today there are only two types of living creatures that fall under the banner of being archosaurs, birds and crocodilians, I shall allow myself some creative licence with my descendent comment as they are closely related to dinosaurs. :p


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Kess73 wrote: »
    Very true, there is great diversity amongst the dino descendents that are with us nowadays, both in reptile and avian form.
    crocs aren't dino descendents ;)

    Archosaurs :)

    **News Just In** Palaeontology Mods are pedantic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭ Kess73


    Galvasean wrote: »
    Archosaurs :)

    **News Just In** Palaeontology Mods are pedantic.



    Too slow, I got my Archosaurs comment in first :D


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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Kess73 wrote: »
    Too slow, I got my Archosaurs comment in first :D

    *Kess73's Post Deleted*

    **News Just In: Palaeontology Mods Are Petty**


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    November 21st, Paul Sereno's TV programme about these fantastic crocs wll premiere. This is gonna be epic! :D
    http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/expedition-week/4280/Overview#tab-Overview

    Facts, photos and even a video on that page :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    :eek: Oh my god, Oh my god, oh my god!!!!!
    Listen to the trailer, thats Peter Cullen's voice!
    Optimus Prime is talking about dinosaurs!!!! :D

    http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/expedition-week/4280/Overview#tab-Videos/07253_00

    Plus, we've got SuperCroc (Sarcosuchus) facing off against Spinosaurus! :cool:


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Anybody remember Dakosaurus?

    1469543-dakosaurus-se-pred-miliony-let-prohanel-tichym-oceanem.jpg

    One of the weirder crocs ever to have existed. Now, I know certain lines of crocs became completely aquatic during the Mesozoic, but Dakosaurus' skull is so uncrocodile like that it looks more like a dinosaur. It had me thinking that it might well have belonged to some lineage of previously unknown dinosaurs which took to the water. However, with the diversity shown among these new Cretaceous crocs, I humbly take back my hypothesis.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    THe Show When Crocodiles Ate Dinosaurs premiered in America today.

    Here is a sneak peek:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/11/091119-new-ancient-crocodiles-missions-video.html
    No Peter Cullen though :( Man, I really hope he is the narrator.

    A write up on the show from National Geographic's website:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/11/091119-dinosaurs-crocodiles-missions.html

    And a picture gallery of the wonderful crocs here:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/11/photogalleries/dinosaurs-crocodiles-crocs-missions/index.html
    Sereno posing with his discoveries:
    091119-06-sereno-with-crocs_big.jpg

    What's that? Traditional pictures aint doin' it for ya? Try the 3D gallery:
    http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/expedition-week/4280/Overview11#tab-boar-croc

    Enjoy! :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Better late than never.... I have finally found out the crocs' proper scientific names (in itallics, nicknames in bold:
    http://esciencenews.com/articles/2009/11/19/boarcroc.ratcroc.dogcroc.duckcroc.and.pancakecroc
    BoarCroc: New species, Kaprosuchus saharicus; fossils found in Niger. Twenty-foot-long upright meat eater with an armored snout for ramming and three sets of dagger-shaped fangs for slicing. Closest relative found in Madagascar.
    RatCroc: New species, Araripesuchus rattoides; fossils found in Morocco. Three-foot-long, upright plant and grub eater. Pair of buckteeth in lower jaw used to dig for food. Closest relative in South America.
    PancakeCroc: New species, Laganosuchus thaumastos; fossils found in Niger and Morocco. Twenty-foot-long, squat fish eater with a three-foot pancake-flat head. Spike-shaped teeth on slender jaws. Likely rested motionless for hours, its jaws open and waiting for prey. Closest relative from Egypt. The scientific paper also names a close relative discovered by the team in Morocco, Laganosuchus maghrebensis.
    DuckCroc: New fossils of previously named species, Anatosuchus minor. Fossils found in Niger. Three-foot-long upright fish-, frog- and grub-eater. Broad, overhanging snout and Pinocchio-like nose. Special sensory areas on the snout end allowed it to root around on the shore and in shallow water for prey. Closest relative in Madagascar.
    DogCroc: New fossils of named species, Araripesuchus wegeneri. Fossils found in Niger include five skeletons, all next to each other on a single block of rock. Three-foot-long upright plant and grub eater with a soft, doglike nose pointing forward. Likely an agile galloper, but also a capable swimmer. Closest relative in Argentina.


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