Crocodile fossil from dinosaur age discovered

This video is called Sarcosuchus, king of crocodiles.

AFP reports:

Crocodile ‘Missing Link’ Found in Brazil

Feb. 1, 2008 — Brazilian paleontologists Thursday unveiled a fossil of a creature that they said is the “missing link” between prehistoric and present-day crocodiles.

Called Montealtosuchus arrudacamposi, the predator measured 56-64 inches, weighed about 88 pounds and lived in the late Cretaceous Period (80-85 million years ago) in the region of Palo Alto, in Sao Paulo state.

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro paleontologist Felipe de Vasconcellos, who helped research the fossil found in 2004, said the reptile’s physical characteristics placed it between prehistoric crocodiles and their current descendants.

It lived on dry land and was quick on its feet, instead of living in marshlands and spending most of its time under water, he said.

See also here.

Crocodile evolution: here.

Palaeocene North American crocodiles: here.

Giant Crocodile Found in Texas: here.

American crocodile today: here.

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5 thoughts on “Crocodile fossil from dinosaur age discovered

  1. New sea crocodile fossil hints at transatlantic migration


    Published: Wednesday March 26, 2008

    A fossil of a new species of prehistoric crocodile found in Brazil and presented here Wednesday has led scientists to believe the reptile benefited from the extinction of dinosaurs to migrate from across the Atlantic.

    Guarinisuchus munizi — the “warrior of the seas,” as the crocodile has been dubbed — is believed to have had its origins in Africa some 200 million years ago.

    But the remains of a jaw, skull and vertebra discovered in Palaeocene deposits of northeastern Brazil suggests the species set off for new territory 62 million years ago, according to researchers.

    “They left the African continent and are believed to have occupied zones in South America, and later regions in North America,” paleontologist Maria Somalia Viana told a media conference in Rio de Janeiro.

    She added that, back then, “Africa and the northeast point of Brazil were much closer than today.”

    The reptile, which grew to around three meters (10 feet) and was perfectly adapted to living in the ocean, apparently took advantage of the extinction of bigger marine lizards called mosasaurs to dominate the waters, another paleontologist, Alexander Kellner, said.

    The Guarinisuchus munizi became “the main predators, together with sharks, in shallow marine Palaeocene environments” the researchers from the federal universities of Pernambuco and Rio de Janeiro theorized in their paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

    They said further study and fossil correlation were needed to corroborate the hypothesis.

    The fossil was the most complete of the species ever found in Latin America.

    See also here. And here.


    Britain was the real Jurassic Park 140 million years ago
    From ANI

    London, Apr 13: In movies, it might look that the Jurassic Park would have existed in the Lost World, but according to a group of researchers Britain was actually a dinosaur heaven 140 million years ago. TurboTax Online Free Edition

    In the first attempted “census” of the country’s dinosaurs, academics from the University of Portsmouth have identified 108 species – found since the first discovery in 1824.

    The research team believes that the variety of creatures make Britain an important area for dinosaur remains.

    The high concentration of species may have been the result of Britain’s position as a land bridge during the Cretaceous period 140m years ago, according to scientists.

    Dinosaurs spread along it between the landmasses, which are now Europe, and North America.

    “What was a surprise to us was just how diverse the British dinosaur population was, and that we are still getting new species being discovered,” the Telegraph quoted Dr David Martill, a reader in palaeobiology and one of the study’s authors, as saying.

    “The real thrill is that we have had people searching for dinosaur fossils in the UK for around 200 years. But if we are still finding new species now, then the diversity must have been terrific,” Martill said.

    In the study, the team compared fossils from Britain with those from Asia, America and Africa, finding similarities to support their hypothesis that Britain was a thoroughfare for migrating dinosaurs as well as home to a rich native population.

    Martill added: “We’re finding quite a strong link between China, North America and even Africa. At the time there was a land passage to get between the continents and we seem to have ended up with such a diverse assembly because dinosaurs from both sides mixed here in the middle.”

    Angela Milner, associate keeper of palaeontology at the Natural History Museum in London, said: “Dinosaurs weren’t a great American invention, as some people like to think. The history of dinosaurs began in England.”

    The study is published in the Geological Society of London.

    Copyright Asian News International


  2. Pingback: New carnivorous dinosaur discovery in Utah, USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Triassic dinosaur predecessors, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  5. Pingback: Jurassic crocodile, new discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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