Huge walking crocodiles ruled the world before dinosaurs

Huge walking crocodiles ruled the world before dinosaurs
The monster walked on its hind legs (Picture: Jorge Gonzales)

A huge crocodile-like monster that walked on its hind legs is believed to have ruled the world as top predator before dinosaurs were around.

Experts believe the nine-foot long crocodilian ancestor was one of the most feared animals to have roamed the Earth.

Remains of the carnufex carolinensis, nicknamed the Carolina Butcher, were found in the Pekin Formation North Carolina, US, and analysed by paleontologists from North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

They used state-of-the-art technology including high res scanners to visualise what the giant might have looked like.

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The Pekin Formation dates back more than 230 million years ago where fossils from the Triassic have been found.

Lindsay Zanno, lead author of the study, said: ‘Fossils from this time period are extremely important to scientists because they record the earliest appearance of crocodylomorphs and theropod dinosaurs, two groups that first evolved in the Triassic period, yet managed to survive to the present day in the form of crocodiles and birds.

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‘The discovery of Carnufex, one of the world’s earliest and largest crocodylomorphs, adds new information to the push and pull of top terrestrial predators across Pangea.’

She added: ‘Until we deciphered the story behind Carnufex, it wasn’t clear that early crocodile ancestors were among those vying for top predator roles prior to the reign of dinosaurs in North America.’

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20 March 2015 | 10:07 pm – Source:


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