Ancient Crocodile Species Discovered

It roamed the planet 100 million years ago
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2010 2:30 PM CST
The skull of an ancient crocodile which was dug in Nakhon Ratchasima, northeastern Thailand in 2006, is shown from the top.   (AP Photo/Northeastern Research Institute of Petrified Wood and Mineral Resources)
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(Newser) – A fossil that had been sitting in a museum has been identified by scientists as that of a previously unknown species of crocodile—which is believed to have lived 100 million years ago, the AP reports. Analysis of the six-inch-long skull fossil, which a scientist stumbled upon in 2006, led scientists to determine that the croc belonged to a distinct species, now called Khoratosuchus jintasakuli.

The reptile had longer legs than its present-day descendants, researchers have determined. "They were living on land and could run very fast," said one. Despite that, the crocodile's teeth indicate that it fed mainly on fish.

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