STRANGE CROC PICTURES: New Dino-Eater, Galloper, More

STRANGE CROC PICTURES: New Dino-Eater, Galloper, More
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November 19, 2009--Bones from a menagerie of ancient crocodile cousins, including the rodent-like RatCroc (pictured eating a grub in a computer-generated image), have been discovered beneath the windswept dunes of the Sahara.

The snub-nosed RatCroc, which had buckteeth for rooting through the ground after tubers or simple animals, is among five early crocodile cousins that ruled Gondwana--a landmass that later broke up into the southern continents--about a hundred million years ago, archaeologists say.

"There's an entire croc world brewing in Africa that we really had only an inkling about before," said Paul Sereno, a paleontologist at the University of Chicago and leader of a new study published today in the journal ZooKeys. (Learn more about the National Geographic explorer-in-residence. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News.)

ON TV When Crocs Ate Dinosaurs airs Saturday, November 21, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel. Preview Crocs >>

--Christine Dell'Amore
—Image courtesy NGT
 
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