According to some insiders, there have been some renewed interest in paleontology following the release of the very successful Jurassic Park films. With the 2015 movie being a smash hit, it is easy to say that more people have expressed interest in the field. New and old enthusiasts alike however would be excited to learn that paleontologists from the University of Bologna have recently discovered an exceptional ancient crocodile from the planet's Cretaceous period.
Dubbed Machimosaurus Rex, the fossils of the marine crocodile were discovered in Tunisia by Dr. Federico Fanti and his colleagues. The prehistoric reptile grows to a massive 30 feet and could weigh up to three tons in adulthood. The scientists further explains that the creature is most likely found in the shallow parts of the ocean and is equipped with small rounded teeth and a powerful bit since it is known to prey on turtles and fish.
"Machimosaurus rex had stocky, relatively short and rounded teeth and a massive skull capable of a remarkable bite force" explains Fanti.
While Machimosaurus Rex is not the biggest ancient crocodile charted, its discovery has led to debunk some of the preconceived notions about the genus. Previously, the specific type of ancient crocodile were thought to have gone extinct together with the rest of the dinosaurs at the tailend of the Jurassic Period. However, the recently unearthed fossils of the Machimosaurus Rex prove that the specie was still alive following the mass extinction event and might have existed for the next 25 million years.
"Therefore, this discovery sheds new light on the hypothesized mass extinction event at the end of the Jurassic -- a biological crisis currently much less understood than the famous extinction at the end of the Cretaceous that wiped out the dinosaurs" quipped Fanti as reported by the Huffington Post.