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Thoracosaurus (crocodiliform [?]) unveiled at Drexel University on Thursday



A friend from Drexel Univ. (Phila. PA, USA) sent me this:

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Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, professor of bioscience and biotechnology, will unveil a
15-foot-long, 65-million-year-old crocodile fossil on Thursday, January 26, 2006
at 10 a.m. in the [Drexel University] Stratton Hall lobby (32nd and Chestnut
Streets).


The crocodile fossil was excavated in southern New Jersey and mounted by his
Field Methods in Paleoecology class. The extinct species, Thoracosaurus
neocesariensis, which translates to "New Jersey crocodile," was a fish-eater and
lived in a mangrove swamp during the Cretaceous Period. Discovered by Dr.
William Gallagher, a paleontologist at the New Jersey State Museum, the fossil
is among the best-preserved specimens of its kind in the world, Dr. Lacovara
said.


Dr. Lacovara's students collected 30 vertebrae, 31 teeth, parts of the skull,
jaw and ribs and other fossils called scutes, which are armor plates that lined
the reptile's back. At 15 feet long, the specimen is about one-third the size of
the largest creatures in the species.


The fossil will remain on campus for about a year before being displayed at the
New Jersey State Museum.


The event is open to students, faculty and staff. For more information, contact
Dr. Lacovara at 215-895-6456 or kenneth.j.lacovara@drexel.edu.


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Allan Edels