Skip to comments.New Species of Ancient Crocodile Ancestor of Today's Species Discovered by... Casey "Lefty" Holliday
Posted on 02/02/2012 6:16:32 PM PST by SunkenCiv
"Aegisuchus witmeri or 'Shieldcroc' is the earliest ancestor of our modern crocodiles to be found in Africa," said Casey Holliday, co-researcher and assistant professor of anatomy in the MU School of Medicine. "Along with other discoveries, we are finding that crocodile ancestors are far more diverse than scientists previously realized."
Shieldcroc is the newest discovery of crocodile species dating to the Late Cretaceous period, approximately 95 million years ago. This period is part of the Mesozoic Era, which has been referred to as the "Age of the Dinosaurs;" however, numerous recent discoveries have led to some scientists calling the era the "Age of the Crocs," Holliday said.
Holliday identified Shieldcroc by studying a fossilized partial skull specimen, which was discovered in Morocco and held by the Royal Ontario Museum of Toronto for several years before Holliday analyzed it. By analyzing blood vessel scarring on the bone, Holliday determined that the crocodile would have had a structure on top of its head, resembling a shield. The dents and bumps on the bone indicate veins delivered blood to a circular mound of skin, something never before seen in a crocodile. He said the shield was likely used as a display structure to attract mates and intimidate enemies and possibly as a thermo-regulator to control the temperature of the animal's head.
Holliday compared Shieldcroc's skull to those of other crocodilians. By comparing slopes of various bones, he found that the new species had a flatter skull than other known species. With this information, he believes it is unlikely that Shieldcroc wrestled dinosaurs on or near the shoreline. Instead, Holliday said the fossil indicates that Shieldcroc had thin jaws, likely used to catch fish.
(Excerpt) Read more at munews.missouri.edu ...
MU assistant professor Casey Holliday nicknamed Aegisuchus witmeri "Shieldcroc" because of its thick skinned shield.
Noah had to load the shieldcrocs very carefully.
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Let's have a big hand for Casey "Lefty" Holliday!
I thought he found it alive, something else to hunt.
Noah did have a peg leg.
Noah’s peg leg and his wife’s wooden eye. It’s a sad story.
Keeping all those animals was dangerous work all right.
The stress got so bad that they began taunting one another: she would say things like `Shake a leg!’
and he would ask her to keep an eye on this or that critter ....
After 40 days and nights of this squabbling, they finally made up.
She asked him if he wanted to go to the captain’s cabin and close the curtains, and he had his robes off before replying,
And that’s how Noah wound up drunk and naked.
(Another impertinentcy: That other post (above): `Downs Mound’.
For some reason the first thing I thought of was Prom night.)
That's what you get for noodling crocodiles.
The look on that lungfish’s face is priceless.
The only thing the artist missed was putting the eyes on the ends of springs.
It’s easier to hold the jaws shut, but I think that’s probably the wrong approach.