The 20-odd species of living alligators and crocodiles are nearly all that remains of what was once an incredibly diverse group of reptiles called crocodyliforms. Recent discoveries of fossil crocodyliforms have revealed that some of these reptiles, instead of conforming to traditional crocodile norms (long snout, conical teeth, strong jaw and long tail) possessed a dazzling array of adaptations that resulted in unique and sometimes bizarre anatomy. These discoveries have provided new information about a large and important group of extinct animals, while simultaneously helping to dispel the notion of crocodiles as static, unchanging 'living fossils.'
Remains of teeth from an ancient crocodile uncovered in East Africa suggest it had more in common with a modern cat than with the creature's own living relatives.All species of crocodile surviving today look and behave similarly - they live mostly in water, ambush their prey and swallow it either whole or in sizeable chunks. But around 100 million years ago in the southern supercontinent of Gondwana, members of the crocodile family occupied a much wider range of ecological niches.Pakasuchus kapilimai is the most extreme form found so far of an extinct group called the notosuchians. Parts of five specimens have been unearthed by a team of palaeontologists led by Patrick O'Connor of Ohio University in Athens.
The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) announced the discovery of new fossils in the Al Gharbia (Western Region), following recent archaeological expeditions in the area.The fossils included two complete large skulls belonging to crocodiles that had inhabited the river area some eight million years ago.
A suite of five ancient crocs, including one with teeth like boar tusks and another with a snout like a duck's bill, have been discovered in the Sahara by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Paul Sereno. The five fossil crocs, three of them newly named species, are remains of a bizarre world of crocs that inhabited the southern land mass known as Gondwana some 100 million years ago. The unique finding provides fascinating insight into the evolutionary history of life on Earth.