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David Schwimmer Talks Giant Crocodiles, Dinosaurs & Poo Eating Sharks

  • 05-04-2010 1:23pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Hot on the heels of the dinosaur eating snake comes a dinosaur eating crocodile that even munched on tyrannosaurs! :eek:

    As an interesting side note, one of the lead researchers of Deinosuchus is David R. Schwimmer, not to be confused with David Schwimmer, who in a daft coincidence, plays Dr. Ross Gellar the palaeontologist from the hit TV series Friends.
    Deinosuchus* tooth impressions in the bones of their prey tell the tale of titanic battles in which the 29-foot-long (9-meter-long) crocs took down dinosaurs their own size—including the T. rex relatives Appalachiosaurus montgomeriensis and Albertosaurus.
    "One of the marks shows signs that the bone was healed, which means that the animal survived the bite," Schwimmer said.

    Extraordinary news calls for an extraordinary image!
    giant-croc-giantcroc-fossil-poop_17558_600x450.jpg
    Illustration by Raul D. Martin

    Interestingly enough it has also emerged that the local sharks dined on the mighty beast's feces.
    The team also found a fossilized shark tooth embedded in the outside of a coprolite. But because the tooth bears no signs of having been digested, the team suspects a shark left the tooth behind when scavenging on Deinosuchus droppings.

    Full article here.


Comments

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,449 ✭✭✭ SuperInfinity


    lol, that IS a daft coincidence.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 92 ✭✭ catmelodian


    Ross from firends lol


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭ Rubecula


    I remember seeing a television documentary about giant crocodiles from the past.

    If I am correct it indicated a giant lake or inland sea in the Americas that had these beasts in it. The supposition was that with such a massive abundance of prey they were able to grow to huge size.

    I may be a bit wrong on this but someone actually built a model of one for a museum I think.


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


    There was an inland sea in North America during the Cretaceous alright. That's where a lot of the mosasaurs lived. It is believed to be the sea most densely populated by large predators ever. Between the mosasaurs, giant predatory bony fish, great white sized sharks, giant squids, 5 foot long swimming birds... it wasn't a good place to take a dip. The giant croc Deinosuchus was very widespread, living all over America (on both sides of the inland sea) and also northern Mexico. It appears to have favoured salt water like the modern saltie, but it is unclear if it actually ventured out into the open sea marine environment. There would have been a lot of competition there. While it's remains have been found in marine deposits it is unclear whether it actually lived there or it's remains were simply washed out to see. The idea of a giant croc inhabiting the sea described as "Hell's Aquarium" along with all of those other monsters is too exciting to ignore though.
    Here are various size estimates for Deinosuchus made over the years:
    760px-Deinosuchus_size_estimate_comparison_chart.svg.png

    The documentary you saw may have been 'Super Croc' about Sarcosuchus and narrated by none other than Sam Neil (of Jurassic Park fame).
    This is the museum model:
    Sarcosuchus-2.jpg

    Size comparison:
    800px-Crocodilians_scale.png


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭ Rubecula


    Thanks Galvasean, good information and easy to understand with those diagrams.

    I worry about the idiot standing in front of those neasts and giving a cheery wave though:D

    Yes I think it was the documentary about Sarcosuchus.

    Wasn't it in South America? I am not sure now, because of the inland sea in North America with Deinosuchus in it. Hard to imagine two giant crocodilian species inhabiting the same area at the same time.

    I suppose that Sarcosuchus is the biggest ever crocodilian we know about?


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


    Rubecula wrote: »
    Yes I think it was the documentary about Sarcosuchus.

    Wasn't it in South America? I am not sure now, because of the inland sea in North America with Deinosuchus in it. Hard to imagine two giant crocodilian species inhabiting the same area at the same time.

    It lived in the Sahara and also possibly South America too (fragmentary remains ofsomething very similar).
    Rubecula wrote: »
    I suppose that Sarcosuchus is the biggest ever crocodilian we know about?

    Had a feeling you might ask that ;)

    Well Sarcosuchus and Mourasuchus (which lived in South America during the Miocene after the dinosaurs died out) were both about 40 feet long. Mourasuchus was an odd one as it's head was not lik that of a typical crocodilian. It appears to have been a filter feeder.
    mourasuchus.jpg

    Mourasuchus shared it's habitat with two other giant crocodilians; Gryposuchus, which resembled a ten meter long gharial, and the mighty Purussaurus, which was arguably the biggest, exceeding 40 feet.

    Purusaurus_01.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭ Rubecula


    Mourasuchus, Purussaurus and Gryposuchus.

    Three names I have never even heard of before.

    I did do a module on marine biology and one on evolution of species during my degree (a long time ago now) So this sort of thing really fascinates me. (Hence my earlier question on Marine monsters)

    This kind of information intrigues me quite a lot.

    Were there marine mammals around at the same time as these things? Some that came into contact with them that is. I think there were some early ceteans around. But I was thinking of other things.


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


    Well, the Miocene sea was home to one of the most awesome marine predators of all time, the megalodon and the Brygmophyseter, a smaller toothier relative of the sperm whale..


    The megalodon (at least 50 feet long) and the Brygmophyseter (40 feet long max.), probably never encountered these giant crocs though, as the crocs do not appear to have lived in a marine environment.


    Just for fun:
    800px-Megalodon_scale1.png


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭ Rubecula


    Brygmophyseter and megalodon are of course the two famous rivals of the sea in those times, especially the Megalodon.

    Not sure they would have come across the crocs either. But it is amazing at just how deadly ancient seas were in comparison to today's more placid waters.

    Sperm Whales, Orca and Great White seem to be the apex predators of today's seas and I am not at all sure they would last very long if they were transplanted to those earlier times.

    I wouldn't mind owning a tooth from megalodon actually.:D


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


    Rubecula wrote: »
    I wouldn't mind owning a tooth from megalodon actually.:D

    I have one myself (albeit not a fully grown one). And no, you can't have it. :P


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭ Rubecula


    Now thats just plain nasty:D:D

    I will make one like they do in the kids programmes:D:D


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


    Galvasean wrote: »
    Just for fun:
    800px-Megalodon_scale1.png

    I just noticed it's referred to as Carcharodon megalodon in that picture. That name is heavily disputed. Last time I checked the majority of experts sided with the name Carcharocles megalodon. That is why most writers like to simplify with either C. megalodon or just megalodon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭ Rubecula


    I have only ever called it Megalodon myself. Everyone knows what you mean by that. Same as T rex, not many call it Tyrannosaurus rex.


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


    Rubecula wrote: »
    I have only ever called it Megalodon myself. Everyone knows what you mean by that. Same as T rex, not many call it Tyrannosaurus rex.

    T rex, T smecks, gimmie back my Dynamosaurus. :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭ Rubecula


    That never really existed did it?

    I thought and I may be wrong here that it was just a T rex with another armoured skeleton on top of it.

    I am not sure though, but it seems to tug at my memory strings that that is what it was.

    I am going to try to find out now...... damn you for stirring up ancient memories :D:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭ Rubecula


    got this from your link. I stand corrected.

    Named for its great size; originally distinguished from Tyrannosaurus by the supposed dermal armor found with the ribs. (The armor belonged to a nodosaur.) More recent research indicates that Tyrannosaurus had a robust and a slender morph, which may represent, respectively, female and male individuals, or possibly two distinct species or even two genera, in which case the name Dynamosaurus might be used for the more massive form


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