Bonanza Of Ancient Crocodiles Unearthed In The Peruvian Amazon

crocodile fossils

Talk about a crocodile paradise.

Scientists examining fossil outcrops in northeastern Peru near the city of Iquitos were stunned to discover the fossils of not one, but seven different species of ancient crocs–three of which are newly identified–that lived in the region 13 million years ago.

They’re saying it’s the largest number of crocodile species that have ever lived side by side in one habitat throughout Earth’s history. The discovery offers new insights into what the region’s ecosystem was like before the Amazon River formed around 10.5 million years ago.

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Fossils from seven different species of crocodiles uncovered in what is now the Amazon Basin of northeastern Peru. Their skulls and jaws, shown here, are extremely diverse: (1) Gnatusuchus pebasensis, (2) Kuttanacaiman iquitosensis, (3) Caiman wannlangstoni, (4) Purussaurus neivensis, (5) Mourasuchus atopus, (6) Pebas Paleosuchus, and (7) Pebas gavialoid. The three new species (1-3) are shown in illustrations below the respective fossils.

“We uncovered this special moment in time when the ancient mega-wetland ecosystem reached its peak in size and complexity, just before its demise and the start of the modern Amazon River system,” Rodolfo Salas-Gismondi, lead researcher and chief of the paleontology department at —> Read More Here


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