When a little dinosaur’s body was clamped down with its strong jaws 95 million years ago in what became Australia, a giant crocodile relative swung its enormous jaws around and swallowed practically the whole thing in one forceful swallow. The crocodilian perished shortly after, and when it died and petrified, the partially digested and almost entire dinosaur in its stomach did as well.
The little dinosaur belonged to the Ornithopoda, a herbivore class that contains duck-billed dinosaurs and other bipedal herbivores. The bones of an ornithopod have been discovered for the first time in this part of the planet, and the creature may represent a previously undiscovered species, according to the researchers.
Earlier this year, scientists uncovered the bones of an ancient croc carnivore – together with the remnants of its well-preserved final meal – in the Great Australian Super Basin, at a location that dates back to the Cretaceous era.
Despite the fact that the crocodile fossil was lacking its tail, back legs, and most of its pelvis, the skull and several more bone fragments from the remaining portion of its body were still undamaged; it measured over 8 feet (2.5 meters) in length and would have managed to grow even more enormous had it lived, according to the scientists in a new study published in the journal Science.
Confractosuchus sauroktonos is the name given to the crocodile relative, and this name is important since it contains a great deal of information about the specimen. A new genus and species have been named after the lengthy-term, which comes from phrases in Latin and Greek that together translate as “broken crocodile dinosaur-killer,” according to the research.
The discovery of this new fossil offers the first conclusive proof that dinosaurs were consumed by huge Cretaceous crocodiles, according to the scientists, who published their findings on February 10. Whereas the croc’s stomach remnants indicate that it consumed a little dinosaur as its final meal, the predator is likely to have consumed a variety of other Cretaceous creatures. Per the findings of the research, dinosaurs were most likely a frequent component of their diet at the time.
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