200 Million Year Old Saltwater Crocodile Fossil Found On British Coast | Science
Researchers found part of the head, spine and limbs. The fossil is therefore the most complete specimen of this period.
The crocodile is related to the ancestors of modern crocodiles. The discovery provides information about a time period that scientists knew little about. For example, saltwater crocodiles seem to have lived longer than previously thought.
Research shows that saltwater crocodiles probably first appeared in the Triassic. This era goes from 252 to 201 million years. At the end of the Triassic, there was a mass extinction of several animal species. But this species survived.
The saltwater crocodile adapted very well
Some saltwater crocodiles have adapted well to life in the oceans. They had short limbs that turned into flippers and a shark-like caudal fin. They also developed the ability to give birth live instead of laying eggs.
Turnersuchus hingleyae about 2 meters long lived in the ocean and hunted marine animals. It had a fairly long and narrow snout and resembled the crocodiles that still live today in northern India.
The fossil is currently on display at the Lyme Regis Museum in Dorset, a county in southern England.
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