A miniature crocodile SEVEN times smaller than today’s crocs roamed Queensland 13.5 million years ago

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Snap-absolutely adorable! A miniature crocodile SEVEN times smaller than today’s fangs roamed the forests of northwest Queensland 13.5 million years ago, fossil study reveals

  • Trilophosuchus rackhami, roamed northwest Queensland 13.5 million years ago
  • It had a short snout and three distinct crests on top of its skull
  • Analysis of his skull suggests he was 2.3 to 2.9 feet long and weighed only 2.2 to 4.4 pounds

Measuring up to 17 feet (5.2 meters) long and weighing up to 1,146 pounds (520 kg), today’s crocodiles are among the fiercest animals on the planet.

But one of their former relatives was slightly less intimidating, measuring just 2.3 to 2.9 feet (70 to 90 cm) long and weighing just 2.2 to 4.4 pounds (1 to 2 kg).

This tiny crocodile, Trilophosuchus rackhami, roamed the forests of northwest Queensland 13.5 million years ago, a new study has revealed.

“It was a really unique crocodile, with a short snout and three distinct ridges on top of its skull,” said Jorgo Ristevski, a PhD student at the University of Queensland and author of the study.

This tiny crocodile, Trilophosuchus rackhami, roamed the forests of northwest Queensland 13.5 million years ago, a new study has revealed

Analysis of its skull suggests the miniature crocodile was 2.3 to 2.9 feet long and weighed just 2.2 to 4.4 pounds

Analysis of its skull suggests the miniature crocodile was 2.3 to 2.9 feet long and weighed just 2.2 to 4.4 pounds

Meet Trilophosuchus rackhami

Trilophosuchus rackhami lived in the forests of northwest Queensland 13.5 million years ago.

As an adult, the miniature crocodile would have measured between 70 and 90 centimeters in length and weighed one to two kilograms.

Researchers say the crocodile is likely related to the extinct land crocodiles of Africa and South America.

They believe the species has spent more time on land than most living crocodiles.

The crocodile was first discovered in 1993 and named Trilophosuchus rackhami – Rackham’s three-crested crocodile – after Alan Rackham, who runs the Riversleigh Fossil Discovery Center at Mount Isa.

In the study, researchers used cutting-edge technology to scan the extinct crocodile’s skull, revealing previously unknown details about its anatomy.

“By micro-CT scanning the beautifully preserved skull, we were able to digitally separate each bone,” Ristevski said.

‘We estimated that as an adult, Trilophosuchus rackhami would have measured between 70 and 90 centimeters [2.3–2.9ft] long and weigh one to two kilograms [2.2–4.4lbs]which was very small compared to most current crocs.

By studying the brain and the nervous system of the crocodile, the researchers were able to begin to gather essential clues about its evolution, its morphology and its behavior.

“For one of the studies, I digitally reconstructed the brain cavity of Trilophosuchus rackhami and found that it resembled that of some distantly related and potentially terrestrial extinct crocodiles from Africa and South America. said Mr. Ristevski.

In the study, researchers used cutting-edge technology to scan the extinct crocodile's skull, revealing previously unknown details about its anatomy.

In the study, researchers used cutting-edge technology to scan the extinct crocodile’s skull, revealing previously unknown details about its anatomy.

The team hopes the results will be useful in understanding the evolution of the crocodile.  Pictured is Jorgo Ristevski holding the crocodile's skull

The team hopes the results will be useful in understanding the evolution of the crocodile. Pictured is Jorgo Ristevski holding the crocodile’s skull

“We were quite surprised to find this because, evolutionarily speaking, Trilophosuchus rackhami is more closely related to today’s crocs.

“This may indicate that Trilophosuchus rackhami spent more time on land than most living crocs.”

The team hopes the results will be useful in understanding the evolution of the crocodile.

“Trilophosuchus rackhami was definitely one of the cutest,” said Dr. Steve Salisbury, one of the study’s authors.

“If we could travel back in time to North Queensland 13 million years ago, not only would you have to watch out for crocodiles at the water’s edge, but you would also have to make sure you didn’t step on them in the forest. .’

More than a fifth of the world’s REPTILES are threatened with imminent extinction, study finds

More than a fifth of the world’s reptiles are threatened with imminent extinction, according to a new study.

Crocodiles and turtles are among the most endangered, with more than half of each species requiring urgent conservation efforts to ensure their survival.

The main threats the reptiles face are agriculture, logging, urban development and invasive species, while the risk posed by climate change is uncertain, the international team of researchers said.

They assessed the conservation status of 10,196 reptile species and found that at least 1,829 were threatened with extinction.

Learn more here

Threatened: More than a fifth of the world's reptiles are threatened with imminent extinction, according to a study.  Crocodiles and turtles are among the most endangered species, researchers say

The main threats the reptiles face are agriculture, logging, urban development and invasive species, while the risk posed by climate change is uncertain, the international team of researchers said.

Threatened: More than a fifth of the world’s reptiles are threatened with imminent extinction, according to a study. Crocodiles and turtles are among the most endangered species

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