National Geographic announced the discovery of five ancient crocs, including one with teeth like boar tusks and another with a snout like a duck’s bill.
This discovery was made by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Paul Sereno and recently featured on the National Geographic Channel as part of the "Expedition Week" series - click here for more info.
Even though the episode aired already, we just could not pass the opportunity to share with you exclusive pictures of these incredible croc monsters walking on the face of the Earth several hundred millions years ago and eating... dinosaurs for breakfast:
(Boar Croc roaring. It went after larger prey and its head was outfitted with even more impressive weaponry. It had over-sized triple set of canines and a massively armored nose that it could have used for butting prey. So it was battering as well as shredding dinosaurs that crossed its path.)
Back when crocodiles were the ruling T. Rexes of the waters.
They galloped on land, ambushed prey at the river’s edge … even terrorized dinosaurs. And more, these swift predators evolved through the ages into the modern crocs we know today:
(A saltwater crocodile jumps out of the water for bait. The largest living crocodilians on earth are saltwater crocodiles, which can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh over 200 pounds.)
Now, armed with newly discovered prehistoric crocodile bones, Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Paul Sereno is determined to bring the ancient creatures to life — and tell their fantastic untold story. Learn about a croc that pursued prey across land, a supercroc that locked its jaws around dinos, with a startlingly canine face. Blending art, forensics and biology, a team reanimates a lost world of strange Cretaceous crocs that paleontology forgot.
Even relatively small "duck" crocodiles were the "stuff of nightmares":
(A model of prehistoric "duck" crocodile - all images are courtesy and copyright by National Geographic)
And yet somehow... cute, in a perverse way:
Duck Croc had an exaggerated forebrain; its flat-billed, pinnochio-nosed head and long, sleek leg bones more suited to something upright and fleet of foot:
Monsters on the prowl (pursuing their prey across land):
Dog Croc had a very large forebrain: the thinking, sensing part of the brain. Its brain indicates that it not only looked like a dog, it probably lived like one as well:
Pancake Croc mouth open. At 20 feet long, as big as the largest crocs alive today Pancake Croc looked dangerous. It had a 3-foot long set of jaws that were actually thin, fragile and underpowered. Its jaws were only designed to open and shut and not to tussle with big prey:
Rat Croc digging for food in a rotting log. It was a little buck-toothed, snub-nose creature, that was maybe two feet long:
Strange fossils give us evidence that ancient crocodilian behemoths lived beside the dinosaurs...and ate them as snacks!
Here is a CGI rendition of a duel between a Super Croc and a Suchomimus. The Sarcosuchus imperator, or flesh crocodile emperor was so enormous that Explorer in Residence Paul Sereno nicknamed the beast Super Croc. Scientists speculate that this reptilian terror possessed enough force and bulk to take down large dinosaurs:
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