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The Prehistoric Croc Thread- Anything crocodilian related



  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor

    Mysterious tracks from Korea, once believed to belong to a bipedal pterosaur, identified as those of 3 m long, bipedal crocodylomorphs- a first for the Cretaceous period!


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor

    Adaptations of the thalattosuchians (sea crocodiles) from dinosaur times revealed by fossil scan:


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor

    A crocodile from the Miocene of Africa, Crocodylus cecchiai, seems to be at the base of the American crocodile linneage, confirming that the four New World crocodiles (Orinoco, American, Cuban and Morelet's) are descended from African ones.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor

    New Deinosuchus paper soon to be released will apparently put together everything we know about this giant alligatoroid, including new discoveries that show we've been reconstructing it wrong all these years. It wouldn´t look as crocodile-like as the original museum mounts, such as these:


    instead having a large overbite and bulbous nose somewhat reminiscent of the unrelated pholidosaur Sarcosuchus. It would've looked more like this:


    Although related to modern alligator and caiman, Deinosuchus (formerly also known as Phobosuchus) was tolerant of brackish and saltwater and is believed to have travelled across the Western Interior Seaway that split North America in half, being present in both the western and eastern coasts. There's good evidence that it fed on dinosaurs among other prey.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor

    The study on Deinosuchus is out. It confirms its identity as an alligatoroid, erects a new species (D. schwimmeri) and describes new material showing it had a long snout with a greatly enlarged nose and mysterious fenestrae of unknown function at the tip, although seemingly connected to the sinuses.

    The animal does seem to have had a super powerful bite and "banana-sized" teeth and there's direct evidence of its preying on dinosaurs. One could say its legend is untouched.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor

    Juvenile Purussaurus (giant caiman from the Miocene) fed on ground sloth, evidence shows.


    An adult Purussaurus (which could grow up to 10 m long or more) was among the largest, if not the largest crocodilian known- had a bite 20 times as powerful as a great white shark's, and likely even more powerful than a T. rex's.




  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor

    Ogresuchus furtatus ("stolen ogre crocodile") a Cretaceous croc from Spain, is finally described after seven years, having been stolen from the dig site and eventually recovered. It turns out to be the earliest and smallest known sebecid, member of a linneage that would survive the KT extinction and eventually give rise to formidable land predators with serrated, theropod-like teeth. The largest of the sebecids were around 6-7 m long (with even 9 m suggested for the Miocene Barinasuchus at one point).

    Interesting thing about Ogresuchus is that it was found at a dinosaur's nesting site, which strongly suggests dinosaur eggs and hatchlings may have been part of this cat-sized predator's diet.

    Article is in Spanish.



  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor

    African crocodiles swam into the Mediterranean and colonized southern Europe.

    The article is in Spanish.

    Millions of years ago, several genera and species of crocodiles lived in Europe, and occassionally coexisted with each other. Among these, however, it was considered unlikely that the genus Crocodylus, of African origin, had ever lived in the Mediterranean.

    The remains found in the Italian regions of Gargano, Tuscany and Scontrone during the last decades however confirm that they did. Now, a study published by the Journal of Paleontology supports this with more fossils of three-meter long crocodiles found at the Valencian fossil site Venta del Moro, dug up by researchers of the University of Valencia between 1995 and 2006- and which they assigned at one point to the species Crocodylus chechhiai.

    Our comparisons show this material does not belong to the genera Duplocynodon- an alligatoroid genus similar to today's caiman- or Tomistoma- the false gharials-, the only other crocodilians known for the late Miocene of Europe.

    However, due to the fragmentary nature of the remains, the analysis of the skull bones, isolated teeth and osteoderms (bone plates) suggests they could belong to the species C. checchiai, as originally assigned, but its taxonomy is still unclear. In any case the morphology fits genus Crocodylus.

    The remains would be the first Crocodylus from the Iberian penninsula and support the expansion of this genus from Africa to Europe during the late Miocene. The discovery of two individuals rather than one indicates there was a population at the site (as opposed to a vagrant that ended up away from home).

    In their "conquest", these reptiles expanded particularly around the Mediterranean, as the remains have been found in Spain and Italy. All locations where crocodilians have been found were back then near the northern coastline of the Mediterranean, thus making it easy to access by crocodiles traveling by sea.

    They are likely to have inhabited the coasts of Murcia and Andalusia, and perhaps even Catalunya and the Balearic islands.

    But how did crocodiles arrive from the African coasts? The researchers suggest they swam from one continent to the next before Africa and Europe were connected. This idea would be supported by modern crocodile behavior, as they are good swimmers that can reach up to 32 km/h.

    An example is today's saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), which goes far into the open sea reaching islands and even continents, as has happened between Oceania and the south east of Asia. One needs only see how easily they have traveled to even the Solomon islands of the French Polynesia.

    But there are more clues that support the hypothesis. The anatomical similarities suggest Crocodylus checchiai, of Lybia and Kenya, is the ancestor of American crocodiles. This suggests crocodiles even crossed the Atlantic during the Miocene, explaining the presence of the genus in the New World.

    As such, in the case of the Venta del Moro specimens, swimming between Africa and Europe would not have taken them a particularly great effort.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor

    Giant alligatoroid Deinosuchus was just as long as T. rex and twice as heavy: