Recent (March, 2010) findings by Paleontologists at Georgia’s Columbus State University helped bring to light the habits of Deinosuchus, a 29-foot-long crocodile that inhabited the region some 79 million years ago.
Uncovering an Ancient Story
As I mentioned when writing about an extinct snake recently (please see article below), its common knowledge that reptiles resembling those we know today lived alongside dinosaurs. However, physical evidence of this really makes the story come to life for me.
In this case, the evidence consisted of bite marks on dinosaur bones and the contents of fossilized feces (known to those who study such things as “coprolites”).
Dwarfing Today’s Giants
I’ve been up close to a 17-foot-long, 1,700 pound Salt Water Crocodile (please see below), and I imagine many of you have seen footage of Nile Crocs taking down adult zebras – I shudder to think of the power possessed by a beast the size of Deinosuchus! The evidence recently unearthed leads Paleontologists to believe that the giant croc consumed dinosaurs that were at least as long as itself! A relative of T. rex is thought to have been on its menu (so much for dinosaurs as “ultimate predators!).
Shell fragments and sand in its feces signify that the enormous reptile frequented shallow brackish marshes at river mouths and associated marine waters. Its presence spelt trouble for another ancient reptile…Sea Turtles, it seems, were also a favored snack.
For more on dinosaur-eating snakes (one of which may have topped 49 feet in length!) and my experiences with the world’s largest captive Salt Water Crocodile, please see:
Ancient Snakes Consumed Dinosaurs
Size comparison chart image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by FanCollector; original images by Matt Martyniuk