Weird Crocodilyforms of the Sahara

National Geographic has an interesting story about some interesting crocodilyforms that have been found in the Sahara.

Each ancient species evolved unique adaptations to reign over its own corner of the lush, river-carved plains of present-day Niger and Morocco, the study says.

For instance, the rodent-like RatCroc had buckteeth for rooting through the ground after tubers or simple animals.

The flat-bodied PancakeCroc was the “ultimate sit-and-wait predator,” Sereno said. The animal would lie motionless and “wait for something stupid” to swim into its rail-thin, 3-foot-long (0.9-meter-long) jaws, which were lined with rows of spiky teeth.

DuckCroc had a long, smooth, sensitive nose to poke through vegetation as well as hook-shaped teeth to snag frogs and small fish in shallow water.

And the plant-eating DogCroc had lanky legs that meant it was likely spry enough to run into the water if threatened.

By far the mightiest of the lot, BoarCroc was a 20-foot-long (6.1-meter-long) “saber-toothed cat in armor” that ate dinosaurs for dinner.

Three sets of fangs-so long they jutted above and below the jaw when shut-handily sliced meat, while a snout reinforced with bonelike armor boosted the animal’s ramming power.

“Gondwana had lots of real oddballs,” said Hans Dieter-Sues, a paleontologist at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in the research.

National Geographic also has some animations. The best thing about this, though, is that the 120+ page monograph on the finds is open access and can be found here.

2 Responses

  1. LOL, National Geographics named one of the animals Duckcroc. Did anyone tell Ray Comfort?

  2. Crocoduck lives! Well, lived.

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