The fossil of an ancient predator, believed to be the oldest and largest ancestor of crocodiles, has been discovered. The fossil is said to be around 231 million years of age. The animal lived in North America before the era of dinosaurs. It has been named Carnufex carolinensis, and is commonly referred to as the Carolina butcher. The findings of the Carnufex carolinensis fossil have been published in Scientific Reports.
The Carnufex carolinensis is thought to have been the top predator in its times. It is estimated to have been around 3 meters long. It flourished on land and walked upright. Its blade-like teeth would have been ideal to prey upon armoured reptiles of that epoch.