This giant crocodile ancestor prowled Carolina 231m years ago

March 19, 2015 9:21 PM

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This giant crocodile ancestor prowled Carolina 231m years ago

Nine feet long, huge jaws, and a taste for wild meat - it might sound like your typical dinosaur, but in fact paleontologists believe this fearsome crocodilian ancestor actually predated T-Rex and friends. Dubbed Carnufex carolinensis, or the "Carolina Butcher," the land-dwelling predator would have been top of its food chain before the dinosaurs arrived, researchers at North Carolina State University and the North Caroline Museum of Natural Sciences believe, having discovered chunks of fossilized skull, spine, and upper forelimb in the local area.

From those chunks of bone - including a shattered skull - laser imaging and 3D modeling were used to piece together a best-fit of what Carnufex might have looked like when it was alive.

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