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A Giant, Dinosaur-Eating Crocodile Once Roamed the American Southeast

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 Deinosuchus size Comparison chartbelieve 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.

Further Reading

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


 My Visit with Gomek


Size comparison chart image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by FanCollector; original images by Matt Martyniuk


  1. avatar

    Deinosuchus was huge, but it wasn’t the only enormous crocodile. For example, there was Sarcosuchus imperator:


    • avatar

      Hello Laura, Frank Indiviglio here.

      Thanks for your interest in our blog and the reference….that is one impressive croc! I’m looking forward to checking for a fossil of it next time I’m at the American Museum of Natural History.

      Good luck and please keep me posted.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  2. avatar

    Deinosuchus is what Megalania was for monitor lizards… a monster huge ancestor .To bad we where not around to see them.. or is it.. thanks good we were not around to be there food !

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Being born with a deep interest in animals might seem unfortunate for a native Bronxite , but my family encouraged my interest and the menagerie that sprung from it. Jobs with pet stores and importers had me caring for a fantastic assortment of reptiles and amphibians. After a detour as a lawyer, I was hired as a Bronx Zoo animal keeper and was soon caring for gharials, goliath frogs, king cobras and everything in-between. Research has taken me in pursuit of anacondas, Orinoco crocodiles and other animals in locales ranging from Venezuela’s llanos to Tortuguero’s beaches. Now, after 20+ years with the Bronx Zoo, I am a consultant for several zoos and museums. I have spent time in Japan, and often exchange ideas with zoologists there. I have written books on salamanders, geckos and other “herps”, discussed reptile-keeping on television and presented papers at conferences. A Master’s Degree in biology has led to teaching opportunities. My work puts me in contact with thousands of hobbyists keeping an array of pets. Without fail, I have learned much from them and hope, dear readers, that you will be generous in sharing your thoughts on this blog and web site. For a complete biography of my experience click here.
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