Researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have found a link between killer whales and ancient crocodiles, suggesting that today’s reptiles don’t deserve their “living fossil” reputation.
Fossilised remains were used from the Natural History Museum in London of two giant crocodylians, Dakosaurus maximus andPlesiosuchus manselii, to reconstruct their huge heads.
They found the shape and size of the creatures’ teeth and skulls matched those of modern orca which now swim in the same British seas inhabited by these reptiles 150 million years ago.
The findings suggest that both species evolved the same hunting and feeding techniques, which challenges the widespread view that crocodiles have hardly changed since prehistoric times.
Dr Mark Young, lead researcher at the University’s School of GeoSciences, said: “A lot of people refer to [modern] crocodiles as living fossils, but we have found that ancient marine crocodiles seem to have fed like killer whales do now, which means they were probably as evolved as mammals are today.”
For more information read: http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/snap-ancient-crocodiles-just-like-killer-whales-scottish-scientists-discover-1-2533883
This article provides information and detailed images which illustrate these whale-like reptilian predators.
Leave a Reply.