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Home >> Sci-Edu
UPDATED: 11:24, November 11, 2005
Ancient marine crocodile found in Argentina
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Researchers reported on Thursday the discovery of a marine crocodile with the head of a dinosaur and the tail of a fish, which lived 135 million years ago in what is now Argentina.

A team of paleontologists led by Zulma Gasparini of Argentina's La Plata University collected a skull and parts of a vertebrae in the northwestern province of Neuquen in 1996.

They believed the animal is the most bizarre marine crocodile known to date, further evidence of the diversity of crocodiles in the Jurassic age.

The new findings were published in the Friday issue of the journal Science. Researchers named the new species Dakosaurus andiniensis, after a European crocodile of the same period with some similar characteristics.

The crocodile is believed to have a short and high snout, unlike the long, thin snouts found on many of today's crocodiles.

It is reported to have four paddle-like limbs instead of legs, and a fish-like tail. The four-meter-long animal had large, sharp teeth that were more often found in dinosaurs.

It is likely that it fed on reptiles and other large sea life when it swam in the Pacific Ocean off southwestern South America millions of years ago, scientists reported.

Source: Xinhua

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