Web Extra     October 26, 2001

Giant ancient crocodile makes headlines

The giant African crocodyliform Sarcosuchus imperator lived more than 100 million years ago. It weighed eight metric tons, measured up to 40 feet in length and dined on small dinosaurs. In the Oct. 25 Science Express, Paul Sereno at the University of Chicago and colleagues describe the newly discoverd fossil skulls and partial skeletons of this giant pulling Sarcosuchus out of the El Rhaz Formation in Niger and on to the pages, screens and speakers of the popular press. Below are links to just a few of the stories in the media on the Sarcosuchus fossils, as well as the study in Science.

[The skull of Sarcosuchus imperator dwarfs a 50 centimenter adult skull of the living Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius). Newly discovered fossils suggest that it took 50-60 years for Sarcosuchus to reach its maximum adult size. Jaw form and the stout proportions of the teeth suggest a generalized diet of large vertebrates such as fish, turtles and dinosaurs. Courtsey of Mike Hettwer and Paul Sereno]

The Giant Crocodyliform Sarcosuchus from the Cretaceous of Africa (study on Science Express available by subscription only)

Fossil of Monster Crocodile Found

African Fossil Find: 40-Foot Crocodile

Crocodile, All Things Considered

Gargantuan ancient crocodile snacked on dinosaurs

Lisa M. Pinsker

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