Paleontologists discovered that 10 meters long Deinosuchus crocodile can eat even the largest dinosaurs living at the same time.
Fossils of teeth of the Deinosuchus species. Photo: Science Daily.
Research published in the journal Vertebrate Paleontology revealed many species of “terrifying crocodile”. Deinosuchus hatcheri and Deinosuchus riograndensis live in the western Americas, from Montana to northern Mexico. Another species, the Deinosuchus schwimmeri, lives along the Atlantic coastal plains from New Jersey to Mississippi. At this time, North America was divided in two by a shallow sea that stretched from the Arctic Ocean south to the present-day Gulf of Mexico.
With a length of up to 10 m, Deinosuchus is one of the largest crocodile breeds ever to exist on Earth. It is the largest predator in its ecosystem, heavier than predatory dinosaurs that lived 75 to 82 million years ago. From previous studies on skull fragments and dinosaur fossil bone bites, the team of paleontologists led by Dr. Adam Cossette of the University of Arkansas, said. “The new specimens we examined revealed a strange giant predator with teeth the size of a banana.”
According to study co-author Drumheller-Horton, Deinosuchus appears to be an opportunistic predator. Due to their enormous size, nearly every animal in their habitat can become their food. Researchers found multiple bites of D. riograndensis and D. schwimmeri on turtle shells and dinosaur bones.
Despite the name “horror crocodile”, in fact Deinosuchus has a family name closer to the short snout crocodile. Their snout is very long and broad, but bulging on the front face around the nose. The team is not sure why they develop such a type of nose. Deinosuchus disappeared before the end of the Great Dinosaur (Mesozoic) extinction. The reason they went extinct is still a mystery.
(According to Science Daily)