Dinosaur-Eating Galloping Crocodiles Once Existed in the Sahara Desert

Digital reconstruction of a Acrocanthosaurus dinosaur and a prehistoric Sarcosuchus crocodile or SuperCroc. Source: Michael Rosskothen / Adobe Stock

Believe it or not, but 100 million years ago the area of the present-day scorching hot Sahara Desert was a lush swamp home not just to dinosaurs, but also to several kinds of prehistoric crocodilians. But that’s not all. These diverse ancient crocodiles came in all shapes and sizes. Some of them were galloping crocodiles, able to chase after prey on land, while others were so big and powerful that they were effective dinosaur hunters.

Paleontologist Paul Sereno in action. (Oregon State University / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Paleontologist Paul Sereno in action. (Oregon State University / CC BY-SA 2.0)

During excavations beginning in the 1990s, the famed paleontologist and dinosaur hunter, Paul Sereno, came across a staggering find when he and his team uncovered the fossilized skeleton of a giant prehistoric crocodile in the African Sahara known as a Sarcosuchus imperator or SuperCroc. While fragments of this majestic monster had already been discovered in 1966, Sereno unearthed several partial skeletons dating back 110 million years in Niger. With a head as big as Sereno was tall, the team estimated that this SuperCroc had measured about 40 ft long (12.19 m).

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Source: Ancient Origins

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