Tags: carolina butcher | crocodile | prehistoric

Carolina Butcher: Newly Discovered Prehistoric Crocodile Walked Upright

Image: Carolina Butcher: Newly Discovered Prehistoric Crocodile Walked Upright
Carnufex carolensis, a newly-discovered crocodilian ancestor that walked on its hind legs, is pictured in this handout life reconstruction obtained by Reuters March 19, 2015. (Handout/Reuters/Landov)  

By    |   Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 03:34 PM

The "Carolina Butcher," a newly discovered crocodile ancestor, may have ruled the Earth — standing 9-feet-tall on two legs — before dinosaurs came to end its reign.

The Carnufex carolinensis was a crocodylomorph “that walked on its hind legs and likely preyed upon smaller inhabitants of North Carolina ecosystems such as armored reptiles and early mammal relatives,” a North Carolina State University press release said of research being done to put together skull and bone fragments found in the state.

“Even before we had prepared the bones from the rock, we knew we had a unique and bizarre new species,” Lindsay Zanno, an assistant professor and leader of the study published this week in Scientific Reports, told The Smithsonian. “The skull of Carnufex is highly ornamented with bumps and grooves, unlike anything we had seen before. After removing all the bones, we were excited to discover that this animal is a bit of a Frankenstein.”

Working with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the university scanned the Carolina Butcher bones discovered in Chatham County, North Carolina, to get a 3-D surface model and determine what the creature looked like.

The area where the fragments were found, called the Pekin Formation, contained sediment deposited 231 million years ago, when North Carolina was a wet, warm region and part of the Pangea supercontinent, the university release 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,” Zanno said in the release. “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.”



© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
The "Carolina Butcher," a newly discovered crocodile ancestor, may have ruled the Earth - standing 9-feet-tall on two legs - before dinosaurs came to end its reign.
carolina butcher, crocodile, prehistoric
316
2015-34-19
Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 03:34 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved