126 m-year-old skull fragments reveal discovery of new crocodile species
A new species of crocodile has been recently discovered after two 126-million-year-old fossilized skull fragments were found on the Isle of Wight.
The new 2 ft long species has been named "unexpected button-toothed crocodile" as they were discovered unexpectedly by different people, three months apart, the Independent reported.
Dinosaur Isle museum near Sandown has revealed that the two separate pieces fitted together perfectly and Dr Steve Sweetman, a palaeontologist at the University of Portsmouth who gave the creature its name, said that both parts of the skull are in good condition.
He said that the discovery is unusual, as crashing waves usually batter and blunt the edges of fossils like this within days or even hours of them being washed onto the beach.
He added that both parts must therefore have been found very soon after they were released from the mud and debris originally laid down on a dinosaur-trampled river floodplain around 126 million years ago.
The paper about the discovery was published in the 'Acta Palaeontologica Polonica' journal.
(Posted on 12-03-2014)