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Terrestrial Origins and Evolution
At the southern tip of South America, researchers found fossils of an entirely new species of ancient crocodile -- one whose massive jaws and jagged teeth would have made it the most fearsome predator in the sea 135 million years ago. Its hefty size and T. rex -like snout have earned Dakosaurus andiniensis the nickname Godzilla. Paleontologists Zulma Gasparini and Luis Spalletti of the National University of La Plata in Argentina uncovered the fossil bones in Patagonia. Diego Pol, a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State University, determined that the creature belongs on the crocodile family tree. The fossilized skull shown here measures approximately 2.5 feet long. The largest teeth near the snout (on the right side of the photograph) measure approximately four inches. Photo courtesy of Diego Pol, Ohio State University.
01/14/09

 



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