A 7-million-year-old crocodile fossil discovered in Peru by a research team has shed light on the creatures’ origins and provided hints to paleontologists about how they evolved.
According to the Peruvian study team that examined the species’ jaw and skull remnants, the discovery of the fossil explained how current crocodiles and freshwater critters arrived to land from the sea.
According to the fossil, the species would have crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the South American shore, eventually settling in southern Peru.
In recent years, a team led by researcher Rodolfo Salas collected partial skeletons from the species, and in 2020, they discovered a jawbone in Peru’s Sacaco desert. They were able to comprehend how these animals originated after spending time in saltwater.
“The new species of crocodile that we are presenting to the world lived in Sacaco 7 million years ago,” Salas said about the species.
“We have concluded… that all marine crocodiles were animals with long and thin faces, and that there were two morphotypes. One that fed almost exclusively on fish and another that had a much more general diet.”
Sacacosuchus Cordovai is the name given to the crocodilian progenitor. It would have been 13 feet long, according to the researchers.
Sacaco is a location where prehistoric animal remains have previously been discovered. Millions of years ago, experts believe the area was a deep seafloor inhabited by whales, enormous sharks, and crocodiles.
The study’s findings were published in The Royal Society, a British scientific magazine.