“Deinosuchus was a giant that must have terrorized the dinosaurs that came to the water’s edge to drink,” said Dr. Kossette, co-author of the study, in a news release announcing the research findings. “Until now, the whole animal was unknown. These young specimens we examined reveal a strange, monstrous, toothed banana-sized predator.”;
The name Deinosuchus means “terror crocodiles”, but the study authors say they were more like alligators. However, the Deinosuchus religion was long and wide, and had two mysterious holes at the top of the snake, which differentiated it from alligators and crocodiles.
There were at least three species of Deinosuchus, and they lived in western America from Montana to northern Mexico and along the Atlantic coast from New Jersey to Mississippi, the researchers said.
Deinosuchus was arguably the largest predator in its ecosystem, surpassing even the largest predatory dinosaurs living in the same era. Researchers discovered bite marks on everything from dinosaur bones to turtle shells.
Fortunately, these “terror crocodiles” lived between 75 and 82 million years ago.
“It was a strange animal,” Professor Christopher Brochu, co-author of the study, said in a press release. “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.”
It is not known what happened to Deinosuchus and how they disappeared, as the study authors found that they disappeared before the main mass extinction at the end of the dinosaur age.