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Fossil find: 'Godzilla' crocodile had head of a dinosaur, fins like a fish

alive 135 million years ago, toward the end of the Jurassic, but all had long snouts and needle-like teeth. None were larger than D. andiniensis, and none were as robust.

Yet, Pol found that the gargantuan crocodile was more closely related to the smallest of its brethren than any of the larger species. The shape of the nostrils, eye sockets, and other areas of the skull combined with a telltale groove in its jaw to prove its lineage.

“This is the most remarkable change in the size and shape of the teeth and snout in the history of marine crocs,?Pol said.

The three fossil specimens were found in 1996 ?one on farmland in the Mendoza province of Patagonia , and two in a rock formation in Neuquén province to the south. During the time that D. andiniensis was alive, the region was a deep tropical bay of the Pacific Ocean .

The researchers don't yet know what events triggered the relatively sudden emergence of the large crocodile, but the size and shape of the teeth indicate that it probably fed on other marine reptiles and large sea creatures in the bay instead of small fish.


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Source:Ohio State University


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