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September 25 2012

Ancient crocodiles ate like killer whales


Crocodiles are often thought of as living fossils, remaining unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs. But scientists have shown this is not always the case and that 150 million years ago, their feeding mechanisms were more similar to some mammals living today, the killer whales.

An international team led by Dr Mark Young of the University of Edinburgh, and including Dr Lorna Steel at the Natural History Museum, studied two species of extinct marine dolphin-like crocodylians, Dakosaurus maximus and Plesiosuchus manselii. Their research is published today in the journal PLoS One.

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