After Two-and-a-Half Century Scientists Have Identified Fossils of Jurassic Crocodile

by Ernest Thomas
After Two-and-a-Half Century Scientists Have Identified Fossils of Jurassic Crocodile

Finally, scientists have identified an ancient crocodile that survived around millions of years ago. It took around 250 years to determine the fossils found in Germany. In 1770s scientists had found a skull of the predator in a Bavarian town. Now they have discovered it was a giant crocodile called Mystriosaurus laurillardi. As per scientists, the dinosaur crocodile, more than four meters long, resided in tropical waters in the Jurassic Period. Like its off-springs, it had a lengthy snout along with sharp teeth. Besides, the predator fed on fish.

Now let’s see how it took so long to reveal the identity of the crocodile fossil. For the past six decades, scientists surmised the creature as a part of a similar family called Steneosaurus bollensis. It also existed at the same time, i.e., during the Jurassic Period. Thankfully, new research has shed light on the previous finding. Thus scientists from the modern age had recently taken a glance at the skull and recognized that experts had a misconception. Researchers inclusive of scientists from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have identified the skull fossil belongs to Mystriosaurus laurillardi. To reveal the fact, they have compared the skull with other fossils found in the UK as well as Germany.

As a result, the team has concluded. According to the group, the now-extinct species could mature up to 4.5m long. Sven Sachs, leading author of the study, said the predator seemed like a gharial, a fish-eating crocodile. But the creature had a small snout along with a nasal opening facing ahead. Whereas, the existing crocodiles and ancient fossils have the nasal opening on the top of the snout. The Naturkunde-Museum Bielefeld present in Germany has directed the study published in the latest issue of the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. Besides, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Palaeontographical Society, and Leverhulme Trust have supported the research.

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