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Palaeontology

30ft prehistoric crocodile discovered

By T.K. Randall
February 2, 2012 · Comment icon 5 comments

Image Credit: Henry P. Tsai - PLoS
A skull of a giant crocodile that lived 95 million years ago has been unearthed in Morocco.
Known as Aegisuchus witmeri, the crocodile had a large armoured head and bony shield that it would have used as a type of trap to catch fish. "It is possible that it lay in wait until an unsuspecting fish swam in front of it," said researcher Nick Gardner. "Then, if it was close enough, Shieldcroc simply opened its mouth and ate the fish without a struggle, eliminating the need for strong jaws."
The shield may have been used to attract mates and intimidate enemies, or as a thermo-regulator to control head temperature. Dr Casey Holliday, from the University of Missouri, US, said: 'Today’s crocodiles live in deltas and estuaries, the environments put under the most stress from human activity. '


Source: Daily Mail | Comments (5)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by g00dfella 12 years ago
Meh... Wildlife experts, however, argue that the largest crocodile so far found in the Bhitarkanika was almost 23 feet (7.0 m) long, which could be traced from the skull preserved by the Kanika Royal Family. The crocodile was shot near Dhamara in 1926 and later its skull was preserved by the then Kanika King. Crocodile experts estimate the animal was between 20 feet (6.1 m) and 23 feet (7.0 m) long, as the size of the skull was measured one ninth of the total length of the body.
Comment icon #2 Posted by psyche101 12 years ago
Meh... Wildlife experts, however, argue that the largest crocodile so far found in the Bhitarkanika was almost 23 feet (7.0 m) long, which could be traced from the skull preserved by the Kanika Royal Family. The crocodile was shot near Dhamara in 1926 and later its skull was preserved by the then Kanika King. Crocodile experts estimate the animal was between 20 feet (6.1 m) and 23 feet (7.0 m) long, as the size of the skull was measured one ninth of the total length of the body. I am not sure the size is supposed to be the wow factor. Its five-foot head is a structure never seen before in croc... [More]
Comment icon #3 Posted by SameerPrehistorica 12 years ago
Hmm..Not bigger than Sarcosuchus.Anyway, it seems like all prehistoric crocodile names ends with suchus
Comment icon #4 Posted by BaneSilvermoon 12 years ago
I am not sure the size is supposed to be the wow factor. Its five-foot head is a structure never seen before in crocodiles. This thing was not 1/9th of total body length. I'm kinda curious about that myself. Seems to me that if we're making estimates on body size, with a creature who clearly has one feature that completely breaks the size patterns we use for that, then there's not really any reason to think there is any accuracy at all in the estimated size without further details first.
Comment icon #5 Posted by DigitalDreamer 12 years ago
Deinosuchus was still larger and more powerful but then again i've always liked gators more,Interesting find


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