Log in

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
Captcha *

Portuguese paleontologists discover oldest known fossil crocodile

archaelogicalDigAccording to a statement from the Faculty of Science and Technology at Lisbon’s New University, a new species of fossil crocodile has changed scientists’ thinking on the origin of crocodiles.

The new species, Portugalosuchus azenhae, is about 95 million years old and was found in Tentúgal, Coimbra. The discovery shows that true crocodiles are 20 million years older than previously thought, according to paleontologists at the Lisbon and Coimbra Universities.

Crocodilomorphs have existed since the beginning of the dinosaur era, but true crocodiles belonging to the Crocodylia group appear only at the end of this age.

"This fossil is unique in its anatomy and key to understanding the early stages of crocodile evolution, as it is the oldest in the group we call Crocodylia, the true crocodiles," said Octavio Mateus, one of the paleontologists at the Lisbon University.

Eduardo Puértolas-Pascual, a specialist in crocodiles at the University, explains the importance of the anatomy of the mandible, "the jaw has an opening that helps define what a true crocodile is, in contrast to crocodilomorphs, which were not yet part of the Crocodylia group, and did not have this opening in the jaw bones."

This Portuguese specimen represents the only species of this type in Europe from that geological age and the oldest representative of Crocodylia known to date.

The skull was found by Matilde Azenha, who has been honoured with the name of the species ‘Portugueseosuchus azenhae.’

The fossil, comprising a skull and jaw, was collected near Tentúgal in central Portugal and will soon be on display at the Lourinhã Museum.

__________

In March 2015, a 200 million-year-old salamander fossil was discovered in a pond near Loulé.

Algarvensis Metoposaurus is a species that coexisted with the first dinosaurs and disappeared during the extinction that occurred 201 million years ago, caused by volcanic activity and climate change.

The adult salamander was over two metres long with a flat head and hundreds of sharp teeth – they are distant relatives of today’s salamanders.

See: 'Giant salamander found in Loulé lake'

 

 

https://regiao-sul.pt/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/portugalosuchus_cr%C3%A2nio_skull_by_joana_bruno-768x785.jpg

 

https://regiao-sul.pt/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/portugalosuchus_azenhae-770x410.jpg

 

https://thumbs.web.sapo.io/?epic=NzNiRa03lRkpUIlXk4NB6CsSo1c/CdTW//2AtdhRhKZILJdy3aHws6mIkSgpyvXWcNk49Fo7PJPqiDy7zyKZCE3C+LT6XzV5BOd3an5N5R3sns4=&W=800&H=0&delay_optim=1

Comments  

+2 #4 AL 2018-12-07 14:28
Quoting Denby:
Amazing, I didn't realise that this part of the world could possibly have the all year round weather conditions for crocodiles. But I understand that the earth is changing all the time and this part of the world could have been closer to the equator.

95 million years ago falls under the Cretaceous period when the earth was a lot warmer than it is today averaging about 25 Celsius. Today we are still recovering from the last ice age which started about 2.5 million years ago.
The funny thing is CO2 has never had anything to do with the climate until 15-20 years ago when carbon tax was invented 8)
Quote
-1 #3 SarahG 2018-12-07 10:06
Quoting Denby:
Amazing, I didn't realise that this part of the world could possibly have the all year round weather conditions for crocodiles. But I understand that the earth is changing all the time and this part of the world could have been closer to the equator.

Eeeerm, you are joking right? I mean about the weather patterns 95 million years ago...?
Quote
0 #2 Denby 2018-12-07 09:57
Amazing, I didn't realise that this part of the world could possibly have the all year round weather conditions for crocodiles. But I understand that the earth is changing all the time and this part of the world could have been closer to the equator.
Quote
+1 #1 Nig Nog 2018-12-06 20:24
Hmm .... At first glance this is a dead ringer for an old guy living across the road from me and he is not extinct. Just a bit out of it.
Quote