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Triassic 'swamp monster' fossil unearthed


Posted on Friday, 31 January, 2014 | Comment icon 6 comments

An artist's impression of a phytosaur. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Smokeybjb
The remains of a prehistoric crocodile-like creature have been discovered in the wilds of west Texas.
It is thought that this particular specimen died in a lake over 205 million years ago, sinking to the bottom where its remains ended up being preserved thanks to the dirt and sediment. While only its head survived, palaeontologists were still able to identify it as a new species of phytosaur.

"A phytosaur resembles a crocodile," said Bill Mueller of the Museum of Texas Tech University. "They had basically the same lifestyle as the modern crocodile by living in and around the water, eating fish, and whatever animals came to the margins of the rivers and lakes."

The newly discovered species, which was named Machaeroprosopus lottorum after the family whose ranch the remains were found on, is believed to have grown up to at least 17ft in length.

Source: Nature World News | Comments (6)

Tags: Crocodile, Phytosaur

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by YukiEsmaElite0 on 31 January, 2014, 16:06
If it's like a crocodile, I wouldn't expect it to have gone extint, since crocodiles and sharks live so long and really haven't changed. I would think we'd still be seeing this phytosaur.
Comment icon #2 Posted by qxcontinuum on 1 February, 2014, 5:42
Or they are victoriously wrong since the carbon dating science is like playing lottery. Could be just a regular crocodile.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Harte on 2 February, 2014, 1:32
They are certainly wrong if they used carbon dating, considering it's only good to around 60,000 years before present. Harte
Comment icon #4 Posted by Harry_Dresden on 9 February, 2014, 0:05
Just goes to show how perfectly designed by nature the crocodilian is...200 million years and still immune to evolutionary pressures.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Harte on 9 February, 2014, 5:11
But not immune to Cajuns Harte
Comment icon #6 Posted by Harry_Dresden on 9 February, 2014, 7:22
Ahhh... The Cajuns and their love of swampy delights have projected them to the top of the food chain...serves the crocodilians right for tasting like chicken.


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