Largest known `true` crocodile identified
Washington: A crocodile, which was large enough to swallow humans, once dwelled in East Africa, according to a new study
“It’s the largest known true crocodile,” said Christopher Brochu, associate professor of geoscience, University of Iowa.
“It may have exceeded 27 feet in length. By comparison, the largest recorded Nile crocodile was less than 21 feet, and most are much smaller.”
The new species lived between 2 and 4 million years ago in Kenya. It resembled its living cousin, the Nile crocodile, but was more massive.
He recognized the new species from fossils that he examined three years ago at the National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi. Some were found at sites known for important human fossil discoveries.
“It lived alongside our ancestors, and it probably ate them,” Brochu said.
He explained that although the fossils contain no evidence of human/reptile encounters, crocodiles generally eat whatever they can swallow, and humans of that time period would have stood no more than four feet tall.
“We don’t actually have fossil human remains with croc bites, but the crocs were bigger than today’s crocodiles, and we were smaller, so there probably wasn’t much biting involved,” Brochu said.
He asserted that there likely would have been ample opportunity for humans to encounter crocs. That’s because early man, along with other animals, would have had to seek water at rivers and lakes where crocodiles lie in wait.
Regarding the name he gave to the new species, Brochu said there was never a doubt.
The crocodile Crocodylus thorbjarnarsoni is named after John Thorbjarnarson, famed crocodile expert and Brochu’s colleague who died of malaria while in the field several years ago.
“He was a giant in the field, so it only made sense to name a giant after him,” Brochu added.
The paper has been published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Security guard beats woman journalist publicly in Pakistan
- Pakistan violates ceasefire in J&K's Hiranagar; 7 Pak Rangers killed, BSF jawan injured
- ISIS terrorists escape Mosul disguised in women's clothing
- DNA: Analysing the existing poor condition of Indian education system
- DNA: Pakistan violates ceasefire in J&K's Hiranagar; Seven Pak Rangers killed
- Navjot Singh Sidhu out on zero to Waqar Younis in 1990 – The match Kapil Sharma keeps talking about
- MS Dhoni reacts in astonishment as Axar Patel takes a stunning one-handed catch - VIDEO
- BSP shrugs off Rita Bahuguna 's jump; says BJP will still face defeat in UP polls
- MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli? Here's Virender Sehwag's best ever reply
- Sushant Singh Rajput’s former girlfriend Ankita Lokhande’s Karva Chauth photos will surprise you