What a Croc!
Photo: Specimen KNM-ER 1683 of Crocodylus thorbjarnarsoni. A-C is the skull seen from the top, bottom, and left side. D and E show the lower jaw from the top and the right side. Modified from Brochu and Storrs, 2012.
Article Content via Wired.
“Paleontologists Christopher Brochu and Glenn Storrs have just named a new croc that hid in the rivers and lakes of prehistoric Kenya between 2 and 4 million years ago.”
“Brochu and Storrs named the predator Crocodylus thorbjarnarsoni. The animal was an older cousin of Africa’s modern Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus). But the fossil crocodile was larger. While the biggest Nile crocodile ever recorded was a little short of 21 feet, Crocodylus thorbjarnarsoni may have been over 27 feet long. If the estimates of Brochu and Storrs are correct, the newly-named fossil form was the largest species of Crocodylus ever.”
“Granted, that’s not as gargantuan as Deinosuchus, but a 27-foot crocodile would have surely been scary enough for the prehistoric humans of the Turkana Basin. As Brochu and Storrs lay out in the abstract of the paper describing the crocodile, “[Crocodylus thorbjarnarsoni] would have been the largest predator in its environment, and the early humans found in the same deposits were presumably part of its prey base.”
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