To borrow a quote from Sisqó – these prehistoric crocs took “dump like a truck”.
Paleontologists are uncovering new details about an ancient reptile described as being the size of a city bus – growing up to 33 meters in length – and possessing “banana-sized” teeth.
Species of the genus Deinosuchus, which literally means “terror crocodile”, according to the study authors, once roamed the United States. During the reign of Deinosuchus between 75 and 82 million years ago, the country was separated from the Severay Western Interior Seaway, an ocean that once covered many of the Southern and Midwestern states, as well as parts of central Canada and eastern Mexico.
The habitats D. hatcheri and D. riograndensis can be found west of the Cretaceous Sea, from the American Northwest down to northern Mexico. Meanwhile, their East Coast brothers, D. schwimmeri, made their home along the Atlantic coastal plains, from the Northeast down to the Gulf.
“Deinosuchus was a giant that must have terrorized the dinosaurs that came to the water̵7;s edge to drink,” said Dr. Adam Cossette, co-author of the study from the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University. “Until now, the whole animal was unknown. These new specimens we examined reveal a strange, monstrous, toothed banana-sized predator. “
Their findings on Cretaceous crocodiles, published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, describe a diet for almost everything, given their wild predatory stature. They were even known to dine on their reptile cousins.
In fact, Deinosuchus are closer to an alligator than a crocodile, the researchers noted, but their widespread skulls were unique to both creatures. They depicted a oyster which is long and wide, with a bulbous nose not seen in other crocodiles, including other extinct species.
“There were two big holes. . . present at the tip of snoring in front of the nose, “said Cosette.” These holes are unique to Deinosuchus and we do not know what they were for, further research below will hopefully help us unlock this mystery and we can learn further for this incredible creature. “
Although Deinosuchus lived alongside the dinosaurs, their race became extinct even before the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, which eventually brought an end to the dinosaur reign.
“It was a strange animal,” co-author Christopher Brochu, of the University of Iowa, said in a statement. “This shows that crocodiles are not ‘living fossils’ that have not changed since the age of the dinosaurs. They have evolved just as dynamically as any other group.”