'Godzilla' Fossils Reveal Real-Life Sea Monster

monster leaping from ocean
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The fossilized skull of a newfound species of ancient marine reptile, pictured above, measures about two and a half feet (one meter) long. The creature's large jaws and jagged teeth prompted researchers to nickname the animal Godzilla after the sci-fi legend that first emerged from the ocean to terrorize Japan in the 1954 cult classic Gojira.

"Other marine crocodiles that were around at the same time had very delicate featureslong, skinny snouts and needle-like teeth for catching small fish and mollusks," Diego Pol said in a press statement. The Ohio State University researcher helped identify the predator as a member of the crocodile family.

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Photograph courtesy Diego Pol/Ohio State University
 
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