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Shield Crocodile
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Shield Crocodile

If you’re curious about the recent discovery about the Shield Crocodile, you should know this is an exciting new breakthrough for further studying the crocodile species. This was discovered in Morocco and placed in the Royal Ontario Museum of Toronto 4 years previous to Casey Holliday’s, University of Missouri assistant, further studying of it and the publishing of the findings January 31st of 2012. The shield crocodile, nicknamed “Shieldcroc”, is an ancestor of today’s crocodile and is now extinct. Scientists intend on further studying this extinct species with the main goal of determining ways to better protect their environment and prevent its extinction.

The Sheild Crocodile is the Crocodiles nickname after its real name Aegisuchus witmeri because of its thick skinned shield. Belonging in Africa, the Shield Crocodile is one of the earliest crocodiles of the modern crocs. This ancient croc once bore a huge shield on its head that is said to have intimidated its enemies and attract mates.

This extinct creature is estimated to have lived about 95 million years ago during what is popularly known as the age of the dinosaurs. This great time was a time when areas were largely populated with lush forests and populated lagoons, a great place for any croc too habitat.

This Shield Crocodile was found 4 years ago in Southeastern Morocco up until when Casey Holliday stumbled upon it lying in a drawer. Scientists have further studied this ancient artifact and have determined many things related to its large shield, the type of diversity related to early crocs, and how it lived or operated.

One of the things that researchers have studied are the bumps and dents found from the blood vessels on the bones. Researchers believe that because of the dents and bumps that were left on the bones of shield resembling its head, it was used to circulate blood on a wide surface near the air, possibly used to have shown off to its friends or foes.

Researchers have also determined that because of how the Shield Crocodiles head was too flimsy to wrestle with other dinosaurs of its time, it’s likely that it was mainly used to catch fish. Its head was measured at 5 foot long along with the total body being 30 feet in length, making it easy to catch fish with ease, allowing the croc to eat it without much struggle. So instead of one of the crocs relatives, the guajiraensis, that apparently once battled the world’s largest snake, it wasn’t a very offensive animal.

Casey Holliday said that even though the Shield Crocodile lived 90 million years ago, scientists can still use this to gain a better understanding of today’s crocs. This leads to the importance of determining and understanding how humans encroach a given ecosystem. So by better understanding how this species became extinct, people like you and me can determine how to better protect and preserve the ecosystems our modern croc needs to survive and thrive on. These recent findings were posted January 31st in the journal PLoS ONE.

Final Thoughts

If you have any questions or thoughts about the Shield Crocodile, all comments are appreciated.


Street Talk

Fascinating article. My 9-year-old and I really enjoyed reading your story. You just never know what scientists may discover next.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

THank you for sharing this, had not heard this news story.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Yes, it was quite an interesting find. It'll be interesting where it leads.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

oh wow that looks scarey. Its a shame that it is extinct though. Looks like an amazing creature.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Yea, there were a lot of amazing creatures back then. It seems most of the modern animals of today are all smaller and easier to deal with.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Nice article, I guess one of us would have been just a swallow to one of those crocks lol

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Yea, lol. I think it should just stick with fish.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

A 30-foot croc! Holy mackeral. I'd better getting out of the way if I saw that thing coming. I like how study such things can help protect the environment today.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Yea, It's pretty cool how you can learn about something so fascinating and be able to use it to better understand how we can protect what crocs we have today, and help the environment in return.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Kyle  

I love hearing about the discovery of things like this...that is one big croc!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Agreed. Crocs need attention too. :)

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Fascinating and the crocodile is still going strong throughout all this time.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Yea, and we're trying to keep it that way by further studying crocs like the shield crocodile to make sure they always remain a strong species. We owe these crocs that much.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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