Remains of Largest Known Crocodile Discovered in East Africa
Researchers from University of Iowa have found the remains of the largest known crocodile in East Africa.
"It’s the largest known true crocodile,” said Christopher Brochu, associate professor of geoscience. “It may have exceeded 27 feet in length. By comparison, the largest recorded Nile crocodile was less than 21 feet, and most are much smaller.”
Researchers worked on the fossils present in the National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi. They are of the opinion that the crocodile lived around 2 and 4 million years ago in the Pliocene and Pleistocene period in Turkana Basin in Kenya.
Researchers have reported: “The largest specimens are from animals up to 7.5 m in total length. It would have been the largest predator in its environment, and the early humans found in the same deposits were presumably part of its prey base.”
This crocodile has been named as Crocodylus thorbjarnarsoni on the name on the name of John Thorbjarnarson, famed crocodile expert and Brochu’s colleague who died of malaria several years ago.
This research has been partly funded by the National Science Foundation and the UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies.
This research has been published online in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
(Image Credit: The University of Iowa)