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Pre-Historic Crocodile-like Creature Unearthed in India’s West Bengal

CC0 / / Crocodile
Crocodile - Sputnik India, 1920, 14.11.2023
A team of Indian scientists has discovered the fossils of a 250-million-year-old animal, believed to be an ancestor of the crocodile, at an archaeological site in West Bengal’s Deoli village.
A fossilized crocodile ancestor, dating back 250 million years to the Triassic period on the supercontinent Pangaea, has been unearthed by Indian scientists and archaeologists.
This scientific breakthrough sheds new light on the ancient biodiversity of India and opens up a treasure trove of scientific possibilities.

Named Samsarasuchus Palemae, the species of crocodile ancestor has been identified from the Proterosuchidae family usually from the Late Permian and Early Triassic periods.

The scientists recently published their research in the ‘Royal Society Open Science’ journal, and said that the saltwater crocodiles that dominate Bengal’s mangroves today have remained very similar to their ancestors from 250 million years ago.
© Photo : Social Media: Artwork by Gabriel LioLife reconstruction of Samsarasuchus pamelae - Artwork by Gabriel Lio
Life reconstruction of Samsarasuchus pamelae - Artwork by Gabriel Lio - Sputnik India, 1920, 14.11.2023
Life reconstruction of Samsarasuchus pamelae - Artwork by Gabriel Lio
Dhurjati P. Sengupta, professor of the Geological Studies Unit at the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata, exclaimed that this incredible find is the oldest discovered vertebrate species in Bengal and the very first of its kind in India.
Sengupta stated that they gathered samples of the remains and conducted a thorough comparison with similar specimens from other countries, specifically ones from China and South Africa to confirm the species type.
The research has unveiled that this species differed from current crocodiles due to its distinctive drooping snout, which may have helped them in capturing prey.
Unlike modern crocodiles, the crocodile ancestor's long, thin bodies grew between 1.5m to 4m, and their hearing structure indicates they spent most of their time underwater, the study revealed.
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