Wednesday, August 26, 2009

90-million-year-old Crocodile Bones in Manitoba

The Canadian Press reports on the find of 90 million year old crocodile bones on a river bank in Manitoba. According to the story:
A lawyer who moonlights as a part-time paleontologist recently discovered the remains of a 90-million-year-old crocodile while scouring the bank of the Wilson River in Manitoba.

Chris Tait saw a rib bone sticking out of the riverbank and then dug down about two metres to unveil the extent of his discovery. He found the legs, backbone and scales of the six-metre crocodile.

"It would have been an upper-level predator, toward the top of the food chain," Tait said. "It would have been one of the bigger animals around. It might have been attacking other large reptiles that were in the sea."

A curious question: how was it dated? Surely not on morphological grounds alone. Günter Bräuer found a hominid skull eroding out of a river bank on the shores of Lake Turkana in the early 1980s and dated it by its morphology alone. He got eaten alive by that.

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