Saturday, June 11, 2005

Ancient Crocodile Baurusuchus salgadoensis

From the Orlando Sentinel:

Eleven recently discovered skeletons of the prehistoric crocodile Baurusuchus salgadoensis suggests that an ancient land bridge once linked South America to Indo-Pakistan. The new crocodile appears to be closely related to another ancient crocodile species, the Pabwehshi pakistanesis discovered in Pakistan.

Baurusuchus salgadoensis lived about 90 million years ago in an area of southeastern Brazil known as the Bauru Basin, about 450 miles west of modern-day Rio de Janeiro, said Pedro Henrique Nobre, one of the authors of the crocodiles' scientific description. An adult measured about 10 feet from head to tail and weighed about 900 pounds, making it the largest crocodile species ever discovered in South America.

Unlike modern crocodiles, Baurusuchus had long legs and spent much of its time walking. It also could live in arid areas where water was scarce, much like other carnivorous dinosaurs of the epoch, Nobre said.

"This discovery really proves that South America was at one time linked to the India-Pakistan bloc and this link could have only been through Antarctica or Australia," said Rudolph Trouw, regional editor of the scientific magazine Gondwana Research.

Photo from HERE.