[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
BIG CROCS - REALLY, REALLY BIG CROCS
(Those into G. Paul's stuff might get it...)
This message is purely anecdotal. Don't read it unless you want to know how
stupid my friends are (GD, you are not one of them... Err. I meant not one of
them in this message... D'oh! - - note spelling)
Remember that Purusaurus (Pussursausus... pusus..Purusu.. Purrussaurus?
Pususaurus? I've forgotten it's name... hope ya'll know what I'm talking about)
is Cainozoic - wasn't 'Mesozoic Matt' asking about K crocs?
Pusurusurrussusaurus, or whatever it's called, does have a complete skull (i.e.
a complete fossil skull is known), or, at least that's what a photo published
in the Brittanica yearbook (1994 I think) shows. Apparently, P. ate giant
turtles and rodents. Well, big capybara things - OK so maybe they're not
P. is a classic example of the kind of confusion and conclusion-jumping that
sketchy press releases can cause (just like my 'dinosaur embryo' example).
According to the press releases put out prior to P.'s official description (hey
- can anyone give a ref. for that too?), it would have stood 8" at the shoulder.
Initially, we were tumbling over with excited confusion as no-one would say what
age the beast was. The press release just said 'giant carnovorous archosaur,
bigger than T. rex', and the accompanying illustration depicted a kind of giant
Saurosuchus-sort-of-thing. Amid suggestions that this was a (possibly new)
giant pseudosuchian (sensu... err. the paper in 'Phylogeny of the Tetrapods Vol.
1') - maybe the one from the Chinle that people have been yelping on about for
ages, there I was thinking "But it must be Cainozoic - no 'rodents' (or guinea-
pig/capybara clade) then. Giant turtles? Can't think of many Mesozoic examples -
in fact, can't think of any examples.... " My beloved GCSE biology teacher was
fueling my enthusiasm by speaking of an 8" snapping turtle shell found at the
P. site and with a P.-sized bite mark in its carapace. And this, of course, was
at the same time that a new terrestrial crocodile (I'm thinking Quinkana, but
that was found earlier..) from Oz was being discussed, and a particularly weird
restoration of a giant, TERRESTRIAL croc (with a short body and long legs) from
the Cretaceous was being posted to our circle members (it turned out to be
Deinosuchus, but that's another story..). With this new, enigmatic 'giant
carnivorous archosaur' suddenly taking precedence amongst mega-carnivore
statistics, people start looking up their sources for size in sperm whales, T.
rex and, of course (that ol' favourite) the mythical Carcharodon megalodon...
No thanks to Richard Ellis for sorting out that one. 8 out of 10, Mike Bright.
Physeter, of course, retains the title as you can't call a plankton-eater a true
After copious amounts of frenetic discussion, an ice-cream and jelly party, a
general *iss-up (there are kids reading this list you know - err, American kids)
and a grand-scale earth science library swoop, it is announced that P. is a
giant alligator. Gee I love confusion...
Why so very few big crocs in the Mesozoic? My guess is that big theropods could
have eaten them. So where are the medium-sized ancestors of Deinosuchus? And can
someone please clear up the Phobosuchus-Deinosuchus priority confusion. Please.
DARREN "Good nutrition's given you some length of bone, but you're no more than
one generation from poor white trash, are you Clarise?" NAISH