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Palaeontology

Newly discovered crocodile's last meal was a dinosaur

By T.K. Randall
February 14, 2022 · Comment icon 14 comments



Not even the dinosaurs were safe from the jaws of Confractosuchus. Image Credit: PD - Vassil
Palaeontologists have discovered a new species of prehistoric crocodile that once feasted upon small dinosaurs.
Unearthed at a sheep station in Queensland, Australia, the remains - which date back 95 million years - belong to a previously unknown species of crocodile.

More impressive still was the discovery of the skeletal remains of a juvenile ornithopod dinosaur inside its stomach, indicating that this was in fact the prehistoric crocodile's last meal.

It has since been named Confractosuchus sauroktonos which means "the broken dinosaur killer."

"The discovery of a small juvenile ornithopod in the gut contents of a Cretaceous-aged crocodile is extremely rare, as only a handful of examples of dinosaur predation are known globally," the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum said in a statement.
Building up a detailed image of the skeleton was quite challenging due to the fragile nature of the bones.

To learn more, scientists relied upon neutron and synchrotron X-ray micro-CT scanning technologies, followed by 3D computer modelling which took 10 months to process.

"At the time of its death this freshwater crocodile was around 2.5m long and still growing," said museum research associate Dr Matt White.

"While Confractosuchus would not have specialised in eating dinosaurs it would not have overlooked an easy meal, such as the young ornithopod remains found in its stomach."



Source: Sky News | Comments (14)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin 10 months ago
Sometimes I feel like a dinosaur.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Desertrat56 10 months ago
Me too.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Jaded1 10 months ago
No, just no! Sharks have absolutely nothing to do with dinosaurs! They've also been around (in various forms) for a lot longer than dinosaurs.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Desertrat56 10 months ago
Then why were they at the dinosaur show I took my grandson to?
Comment icon #9 Posted by Jaded1 9 months ago
Probably because sharks were around when the dinosaurs were (i.e. were contemporaneous). As I said, sharks have been around for a longer period than the dinosaurs; they were there before the dinosaurs and are still here way after the dinosaurs died out in the extinction event roughly 66 million years ago. Sharks are fish, not dinosaurs. Even creatures that most would class as dinosaurs, such as plesiosaurs, were marine reptiles, rather than dinosaurs, and they get lumped in with dinosaurs in exhibitions because they were contemporaneous. If you don't believe me, maybe you'll believe wikipedia... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Abramelin 9 months ago
Go back far enough, and find out all animal groups/families/whatever are related.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Abramelin 9 months ago
"New species of ancient crocodile's last meal may have been a dinosaur" I will bet many or even most who clicked on this topic had a totally different image in front of their mind's eye. Something like this (pliosaurus vs. t-rex) :
Comment icon #12 Posted by Jaded1 9 months ago
Technically, yes, but that has no relevance whatsoever to what I'm trying to say. We all evolved from whatever micro-organism was the first "lifeform" to emerge from the "primordial soup". A shark is not a dinosaur much in the way that, for example, a human is not a cephalopod, even though all evolved from that first micro-organism. It's really not a hard concept to grasp.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Abramelin 9 months ago
Don't worry, I d understand.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Abramelin 9 months ago
Damn, there actually were crocs large enough to have fully grown dinos for a meal: https://www.livescience.com/terror-crocodile-banana-teeth.html


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