Scientists are blown away at a giant apex predator that lived more than 100 million years before the dinosaurs went extinct.
An astonishingly massive crocodile that lived 170 million years ago in Madagascar had a set of serrated teeth like those of a T. rex, according to new findings in a recent scientific paper published in PeerJ. This incredible species, named Razanandrongobe sakalavae meaning “giant lizard ancestor from Sakalava region” would have been able to tear through bone and tendon much like a T. rex.
This huge animal would have been the earliest and biggest member of hte group of croc-like creatures scientists call Notosuchians. It had a very distinct skull shape and much more powerful and straighter legs than you would see on modern crocodiles.
While scientists had know about this beast before, they didn’t have enough fossil material to classify the species in a way that would stand up to scientific rigor. But new fossil finds have changed that, allowing researchers to figure out where it stood in croc history.
“Little is known about the origin and early evolution of the Notosuchia, hitherto unknown in the Jurassic period,” the PeerJ statement reads. “New research on fossils from Madagascar, published in the peer-reviewed journal PeerJ by Italian and French paleontologists, begin to fill the gap in a million-year-long ghost lineage.
“Deep and massive jaw bones armed with enormous serrated teeth that are similar in size and shape to those of a T-rex strongly suggest that these animals fed also on hard tissue such as bone and tendon. The full name of the predatory crocodyliform (nicknamed ‘Razana’) is Razanandrongobe sakalavae, which means “giant lizard ancestor from Sakalava region”.”