London, March 11 IANS | 6 months ago

Two collectors on a fossil-hunting holiday on a beach have stumbled upon a new species of tiny crocodile that roamed the earth with dinosaurs some 126 million years ago!


They found two pieces from the crocodile's skull on a beach near Sandown - a seaside resort on the southeast coast of the Isle of Wight, England.

"The collectors were simply walking along the beach looking for fossils when they saw these peculiar stones sitting on rocks," palaeontologist Steve Sweetman from University of Portsmouth was quoted as saying.

They took the fragment straight to Dinosaur Isle museum in Sandown.

After a thorough study, archaeologists revealed the teeth from this two-feet long crocodile are unique and were used to crush mollusc shells and other invertebrates with tough outer coatings.

Skull fragments are believed to have been dislodged by winter storms, said media reports.

The species has been named 'koumpiodontosuchus aprosdokiti' which means the 'unexpected button-toothed crocodile'.

Both collectors have donated their specimens to the museum to allow scientific study of the complete skull.

The fragments, measuring 112 mm, mark the first ever discovery of this button-toothed crocodile, said the study published in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.

(Posted on 11-03-2014)


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