Crocodiles look scary in 2020, but millions of years ago, they were very large, capable of eating dinosaurs. These huge alligators have teeth “the size of a banana,” said scientists.
According to a new study on the Deinosuchus fossil published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, the creature lived 75 million to 82 million years ago. Deinosuchus, meaning “terror crocodile”, used their giant teeth to eat even the largest dinosaurs – putting them at the top of the food chain in their ecosystem.
Researchers studied fossils and bites on turtle shells and dinosaur bones to create the full picture of Deinosuchus. They said the animal, up to 33 feet in length, was actually more closely related to the crocodile than the crocodile.
Nearly everything in their habitat is eaten by giant predators, researchers say.
Lead author Adam Cossette, a paleontologist at the New York Institute of Technology, said in a press release on Monday: “Deinosuchus is a giant who terrorized the dinosaurs to the edge of the water for a drink” . “So far, the complete animal is unknown. These new specimens we examined show a bizarre, monstrous predator with teeth the size of a banana.”
Cossette and co-researcher Christoper Brochu, a paleontologist at the University of Iowa, have identified three known Deinosuchus species: Deinosuchus hatchheri, Deinosuchus riograndensis and Deinosuchus schwimmeri. All three roamed in various parts of the United States, at the time being cut in half by a shallow sea.
Many aspects of ancient beasts remain mysterious. They don’t look like a crocodile or a king crocodile, and their huge noses have giant holes in their pointed tips that are completely unique and have no obvious purpose.
The animals were wiped out beforeBut the reason for their disappearance remains unknown.
“It’s a strange animal,” Brochu said. “It shows that crocodylians are not ‘living fossils’ unchanged since the age of the dinosaurs. They evolved dynamically like any other group.”