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Maledictosuchus, the cursed croc

  • #1
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Adam Khor

    Was found in Spain so I'm translating the good parts as usual:

    Researchers from the universities of Zaragoza and Edinburghhave described another sea crocodile of the Jurassic, found in Ricla (Zaragoza), which coexisted with dinosaurs. Maledictosuchus riclaensis (Ricla's cursed crocodile) is the oldest and best preserved sea crocodile found in the Iberian peninsula.
    The researches have noted that Maledictosuchus is known only through the specimen from Ricla, and is a practically perfect skull, excepcionally well preserved.
    The specimen belongs to Metrorhynchidae, a group of sea crocodiles typical of the Jurassic which went extinct during the early Cretaceous, about 130 million years ago, having coexisted with dinosaurs.
    The fossil was found in 1994 during the (...) building of the AVE railroad. This crocodile inhabited the seas 164 million years ago during the Middle Jurassic (Callovian).

    The skull of Maledictosuchus is streamlined, with huge eye sockets and very small, numerous teeth. It was mostly a fish-eater, although it may have eaten cephalopods and other sea invertebrates. The research suggests that Maledictosuchus is the basalmost and oldest member of the rhacheosaurines, a group of specialized metriorhynchids, fish-eaters, very well adapted to the open sea. Therefore, the study of this last crocodile proves that metriorhynchids were more diverse than previously thought and that their adaptation to life in the open sea started during the Middle Jurassic, 10 million years before the accepted date

    Well, it seems we are in a sort of golden age of sea-crocodile discoveries :O


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