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In Tunisia found fossils of giant marine crocodile

An international group of scientists described a new species, Machimosaurus rex . from the family of teleosaurus, fossil marine crocodiles of the Jurassic period. The paper was published in Cretaceous Research . Briefly about it it is spoken in the press release of the University of Alberta.

In 2014 a group of scientists discovered in the South of Tunis the well-preserved remains of a giant prehistoric reptile that lived 130 million years ago. The fossils were discovered near the town of Tataouine.

The researchers found almost completely preserved skull of reptiles, a few teeth, dorsal vertebrae, ribs, fragments of gastralia, the humerus. In addition, in the excavations, perhaps, are the fossils of four other adults Machimosaurus rex .

The length of the preserved part of the skull of the reptile was 134 cm. Scientists reconstructed the skull on the basis of known data about other members of the genus Machimosaurus and estimated the total length of the skull as rex M. 155 — 160 cm. The length of the skull, you can judge the size of the entire specimen. According to scientists, the length of the reptile was about ten meters, it was the largest representative of crocodylomorphs that time and the largest known representative of the suborder saltwater crocodiles thalattosuchia.

University Of Alberta (Canada)

Interestingly, apart from the fact that M. rex was the record holder in size, this species was the last representative of the genus Machimosaurus, and suffered their relatives for 30 million years. At the end of the Jurassic period the earth’s climate becomes arid and saltwater crocodiles in the Northern hemisphere start to die off. The last representatives of the genus survive in lagoons in shallow water, but in the end disappeared and the lagoon and coastal ecosystems. However, in the area of modern Tunisia shoal existed during the Cretaceous period, which allowed us to survive here the members of the species M. rex .

Machimosaurus is an extinct genus of marine crocodile that lived during the Jurassic and lower Cretaceous periods. Fossil remains of members of the family found in Western Europe and in Tunisia. The previous largest crocodylomorph the Jurassic period is also descended from this family, and was about nine metres in length.

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