Horrifying murder crocs ruled North America before the dinosaurs

March 20, 2015 1:06 PM

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A popular reaction upon seeing an alligator or crocodile is to picture the beasts as living relics from an ancient time. Not only is that true, a new discovery by NC State researchers reveals that before dinosaurs reached North America, the top land predator was the affectionately-named "Carolina Butcher" - a nine foot long, bipedal species of crocodile.

Properly known as Carnufex carolinensis, the was identified based on skull, spine and forelimb fragments found at the Pekin Formation in Chatham County, North Carolina. In order to get a more complete picture from the fragments, researchers used a high-resolution surface scanner, creating a three-di...

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