Scientist crew find dwarf crocodile in Sao Paulo
Remains was from an animal that lived 90 million
years ago with dinosaurs.
The discovery made in Marília city (SP) was
announced in Rio de Janeiro.
By Reinaldo José Lopes
Amidst giants, it was a dwarf. While long-necked
dinosaurs stomped over the land which would became
the Sao Paulo State
inland, a croc only 50-cm long, smaller even then an
made its living too. The creature, christened
navae/, had their remais described by Brazilian
showed them to the public in this tuesday (17).
The animal was discovered in the place where a dam
construction by William Nave, coordinator of the
Museum of Marília (SP). Nave one of the greater
fossil hunter of Sao
Paulo state inlands, says that he had gone to the
local where the dam
is being erected to prospect for potential findings.
"Almost always we
find something interesting in those places. But when
I've arrived the
dam lake was already being filled." Even though, he
found the /A.
navae/ fossils in rocks that seems to date back till
90 million years
The morphological analysis of the creature was made
by Pedro Henrique
Nobre and Ismar de Souza Carvalho, from Geological
Department of Rio
de Janeiro Federal University (UFRJ), and it had
lead to the
conclusion that the remais was from a new extinct
For their finding, Nova was honoured with the
species name /navae/.
"What is most peculiar in that animal, is that it
was very small, as a
Chiuaua dog", said Carvalho. In the skull there are
features: eyes very big in relation to the head
size, and very
protruding anterior teeth.
Merging those features with the small size, the
researchers think that
that animal was nocturnal - good reason to have
large eyes - and prey
upon small animais, maybe insects or even carrion.
The teeth could
help to grap the prey. Those characters are very
unusual in modern day
crocs. "I would say that it was a kind of Carmen
Miranda - small, but
a bombshell", jokes Carvalho.
The study was published in "Gondwana Research" and
was funded by Rio
de Janeiro State Research Foundation (Faperj).