Triassic 'swamp monster' fossil unearthed
January 31, 2014 | 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
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