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Nov 14 / Dave Schumaker

Crocodile of the Jurassic Seas

Jurassic crocodileA skelton of a large crocodile that roamed the Jurassic seas nearly 135 million years ago has been unearthed in Argentina. Its official name is Dakosaurus andiniensis, but because of its large size, scientists have nicknamed it ‘Godzilla,’ or also “Chico Malo” – Bad Boy of the Seas.

Although modern saltwater crocodiles may stretch as long as 30 feet, Gasparini and Pol calculated their creature must have been at least 12 feet long, with a total of 52 jagged, saw-like teeth in its massive jaws. The senior author of the Science report, Gasparini named the fossil creature Dakosaurus andiniensis and noted that it resembled a similar species named Dakosaurus maximus whose fossils have been found in Europe.

The authors call it “chico malo,” she said, “the bad boy of the sea.”

When Godzilla lived, a vast ocean filled much of what is now Argentina. At the base of the Andes, the water was probably up to 750 feet deep. Dakosaurus, being amphibious, probably sought its prey near the bottom of the sea while rising every now and then to gulp air, according to Pol.

After hearing that it was at least 12 feet long, I don’t feel like this animal is as impressive as people are making it out to be.

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