A new species of a crocodile was found in Australia by paleontologists. The crocodile has consumed a dinosaur about 95 million years ago. And by the looks of it, it is its last meal. According to the Daily Star, the fossilized crocodile named the Broken Dinosaur Killer was discovered on a sheep ranch in outback Queensland. And has since been named after the dinosaur it killed.
In the fossilized crocodile’s belly, the researchers discovered fragments of a baby ornithopod dinosaur. This was shocking to them. The discovery of dinosaur remains in a crocodile was described as “out of this world” by Matt White of the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum. Because it’s the first time, in history to find dinosaurs remains inside a crocodile.
The Last Meal Of The Crocodile Reveals Hidden Clues In Prehistoric Diet
Six Years Trying To Put Pieces Together
The fossilized crocodile was discovered in 2010 by a team of paleontologists near Winton. Putting the fossils together took the team six years, ABC News said. They also found the first skeleton of an ornithopod in the area. It’s also the first concrete proof that crocodiles in Australia ate dinosaurs.
This discovery shed new light on the relationships and behavior of animals that lived in the Land Down Under millions of years ago, says Dr. Matt. It also revealed that dinosaurs played a key role in the Cretaceous food web, which was previously unknown.
Crocodiles Considered At The Top Of The Food Chain?
He went on to say that dinosaurs were a part of a complex web of creatures that included birds, mammals, pterosaurs, and crocodiles and that they were not necessarily at the top of the food chain. The most recent discovery provides direct evidence of the food source for crocodiles at that time, as well as the fact that they eat anything that comes within striking distance of them.
Ornithopods roamed the Earth roughly 100 million years ago, according to previous discoveries. The beaks and cheeks of these dinosaurs are packed with teeth and are considered to be herbivores.
“Ornithopods were very cute little dinosaurs, probably a little bit bigger than a chicken at about 1.2 kilograms,”
ABC News quoted Dr White. He added that they would have looked like Ducky from the movie “The Land Before Time.”
Fossils Identified Using High-tech Scanning Techniques.
In order to investigate the fossils discovered at the site, scientists used high-tech scanning techniques. To determine which bones were positioned was, Dr. Joseph Bevitt used neutron and synchrotron X-ray micro-CT scans.
That was followed by a 10-month procedure where Dr. White was digitizing the specimen and constructed a 3D reconstruction of the bones using computer processing. The cranium is nearly complete, but the tail and hind legs are missing. The skeleton is now about 35 % complete.
When the freshwater crocodile died, it would still be growing, according to Dr. White. And although the Confractosuchus didn’t have a preference for eating dinosaurs, it wouldn’t have said no to a quick, tasty snack, he continued. As a result, its stomach contains the remains of ornithopod dinosaurs.
As a juvenile ornithopod weighing roughly 3.7 pounds, the ornithopod was considered by the research team to be only a few years old (1.7 kilograms). Crocodiles may have attacked the dinosaur or scavenged from it after it died, according to their research. When they examined the bone, they discovered that one of the femurs had been chopped in half, while the other had been bitten by a tooth.
Last Meal: Dinosaur Remains Found Inside A 95-Million-Year-Old Crocodile Fossil