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A Real Monster

March 23, 2015

Today was going to be a post comparing two versions of the same myth, but you’re going to have to wait till Wednesday for that because they’ve just announced a new species of crocodylomorph and it is too fantastic not to share.

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© Jorge Gonzales

 

Look at it! Bipedal! And nine feet long!

A crocodylomorph, which is a new word for me too, is a proto-croc, a reptile with similar traits that gave rise to the lineage we know and fear today. In this case, this creature was tromping around what’s now North Carolina before the dinosaurs took off, and it was almost certainly the alpha predator, since all the other crocs they’ve found around there were small.

I’m thrilled to know there’s a parallel world where crocodylomorphs, including this one, stayed dominant over the dinosaurs. I’m equally thrilled to know it isn’t this one, because I really wouldn’t want to meet one of these in a swamp—or anywhere else, for that matter.

If you feel like reading through the original paper on it, click here.

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