The Remains Of This Bus-Sized, Saharan Crocodile Will Give You Nightmares
Paleontologists digging along the edge of the Sahara Desert in Tunisia stumbled across the remains of an undiscovered species of crocodile that likely measured over 30 feet long.
Weighing in at 3 tons, this jumbo croc would have been about the size of a bus. Imagine finding a bus with teeth while swimming in the ocean...
To put it even more into perspective, its skull alone measures over 5 feet.
Researchers studying the prehistoric reptile named the new species Machimosaurus rex. (Is it a coincidence the name is so close to "machismo?") They published their findings on Sunday in the journal 'Creteceous Research.'
Lead Author Federico Fanti of the University of Bologna described it to the Washington Post as "massive," adding,
It definitely was at the top of the food chain at the time, at least in this particular locality.
Beyond its groundbreaking size, the discovery of Machimosaurus rex may point to some flaws in the generally accepted mass extinction theory.
Previous theories would have species of this size dying off 150 million years ago, but this particular species was alive and swimming 130 million years ago. This information may cause paleontologists to rethink the theory of a mass extinction ending the Jurassic Period.
For now, the rest of us can wonder how anything that big could have existed, ever.