Saturday, May 19, 2012

Crocodile From Hell, East African Version

Again from Discovery News, it turns out that there was a horned crocodile that lived around the time of the Australopithecines and likely ate more than a few of them for lunch. Jennifer Viegas writes:
Remains of the enormous horned croc, named Crocodylus thorbjarnarsoni, were unearthed in East Africa. The impressive aquatic reptile exceeded 27 feet long and is described in the latest Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

The croc was the dominant predator of its ecosystem, so there is little doubt that it preyed upon our distant ancestors, especially since remains of
Australopithecus (a now-extinct genus of hominids) were found nearby.

These relatively tiny individuals would have had no choice but to enter the crocodile's territory for much needed water.
These early hominins had to contend with large cats on the savanna as well so survival was never guaranteed.

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