The Jurassic period was full of lumbering giants and the beginning of large predators that hunted them. Now we can add one more terrifying killer to that list of terrestrial predators.
There have been a few over sized crocodiles found through out the course of the last 150 years, but none of which had teeth the size of T-Rex. An important new addition to the list of ruling reptiles is Razanandrongobe sakalavae, or Razana for short. This gigantic crocodile, described in the journal PeerJ, was at the top of the Middle Jurassic food chain 164–167 million years ago, and provides evidence that some crocodiles could take on even the fiercest dinosaur predators.
This beast's remains was recently found in Madagascar which just can't seem to disappoint us when it comes to prehistoric remains. There are at least two features about this animal that sets it apart from most other giant crocs of the past.
1. Its legs don't extend from the sides of its body like most modern day crocs and large ones like Deinosuchus, Its legs were directly underneath its body helping it to stand erect and preventing its belly from dragging on the ground. Scientists believe this animal was close to 25 feet in length. Not as long or as big as some of its future relatives but still huge. Which leads be to the next point.
2. Its teeth! This is the first crocodile like predator that has sported teeth in equal width and in some cases length as the teeth of T-Rex. Whats even more terrifying is that the teeth of this killer were serrated! These teeth were perfect for inflicting massive trauma to its victims.
So basically this new croc was able to stand taller than most of its past and future relatives, and inflict more damage when it comes to penetrating its victims flesh. By the way it just so happened to weigh about 2,500 pounds! So this animal was obviously the most powerful croc of Madagascar.
There are two other points that scientists are in debate over at the moment, bite force?...and hunter or scavenger?
The weight of this animal raises questions about how fast this animal could movie. That's a lot bulk for an animal only 25 feet long that is not a marine reptile. Which leads us more to the side of scavenger. We can't imagine, at least at the moment, that an animal of its size was able to move any faster than 10 mph...but paleontologists like Paleontologists Cristiano Dal Sasso and Simone Maganuco of the Natural History museum in Milan are still working on that.
The last thing to touch on is the animals bite force. T-Rex still has the largest bite force of any known terrestrial predator. The fact that Razanandrongobe is one of the few other killers with teeth similar in size and width has paleontologists talking larger bite force! Could you imagine an terrestrial animal 15 feet smaller than T-Rex that had an even larger bite force?!?! That's just scary, and T-Rex had an estimated bit force of close to at least 10,000 pounds.
Once again these tests are in the works to find out what this impressive Jurassic killer cloud do but one thing is for sure. Any animal Razanandrongobe could sink its massive teeth into stood a good chance of being its next meal.