Academics in skeleton find breakthrough
AN ancient skeleton found more than 100 years ago belonged to an unidentified species of crocodile that was similar to a dolphin, city scientists have found.
Remains, including a jawbone and teeth, were found by an amateur palaeontologist near Peterborough in the early 1900s and were held by Glasgow University’s Hunterian Museum.
But now a team of experts from Edinburgh University has identified the species, which will help studies into how marine reptiles were evolving about 165 million years ago.
It has named the animal Tyrannoneustes lythrodectikos, which means “blood-biting tyrant swimmer”.
The team believes the predator, which had pointed teeth and a large jaw, would have fed on large prey.
Lead researcher Dr Mark Young, of the university’s school of geosciences, said: “It is satisfying to be able to classify a specimen that has been unexamined for more than 100 years, and doubly so to find that this discovery improves our understanding of the evolution of marine reptiles.”
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