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Re: Evidence of Huge Ancient Crocodile Found
Has anyone got a copy of the pdf (ScienceExpress). Our uni subscription
for Science doesn't get me on to this august site.
And there wouldn't any problems publishing the new name in an electronic
journal? I suppose as long as they archive hard copies in a library
somewhere it's all ok...
Seems like this beast will be featured in next month's Nat Geo magazine.
Allan Edels wrote:
I don't remember seeing this before -
FROM THE AP, VIA YAHOO:
Evidence of Huge Ancient Crocodile Found
By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer
10 minutes ago [i.e. 2:22 PM EST]
WASHINGTON - In the era when dinosaurs ruled the Jurassic earth, a
13-foot oceanic crocodile with a short snout and a mouthful of deadly
teeth hunted large creatures in the sea, scientists reported Thursday.
Nicknamed "Godzilla" by its discoverers, the new find was much
different from other marine crocodiles, which had long snouts with
many small teeth.
The discovery of the creature, given the scientific name Dakosaurus
andiniensis, was reported Thursday in ScienceExpress, the online
edition of the journal Science.
"This animal was one of the latest members of its family and certainly
the most bizarre of all marine crocs," said Diego Pol of Ohio State
University, one of the authors of the report.
Lead author Zulma Gasparini of Argentina's National University of La
Plata said the "animal's anatomy is really a contrast with that of the
other sea crocs that developed during the Jurassic," about 135 million
The long narrow snout and small teeth of most crocs indicate feeding
on small prey, Pol said, while Dakosaurus' large serrated teeth
indicate a carnivore that would have hunted large prey.
"This was a top predator that probably was 13 feet long and swam
around using its jagged teeth to bite and cut its prey, like dinosaurs
and other predatory reptiles did," Pol said.
Instead of legs, Dakosaurus had four paddle-like limbs and a
vertically oriented, fishlike tail. Dakosaurus would have regularly
surfaced to gasp oxygen and then could dive into the ocean.
"We are calling him the 'chico malo' — 'bad boy'" of the ocean, said
While Dakosaurus had been known from a few bone fragments previously,
the new detail comes from a complete skull found in Argentina in 1996
and studied by Pol, Gasparini and colleagues. The area where it was
found had been a deep tropical bay during the Jurassic period.
The world's relatively shallow seas between 230 million and 65 million
years ago contained several large animals, such as the plesiosaur with
a 20-foot neck and the giant ichthyosaurs that could be 75-feet long.
The research was funded by Argentina's National Council of Scientific
and Technical Research and the National Geographic Society. The
discovery will also be featured in the December issue of National
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