Machimosaurus is a genus of the Teleosauridae family that lived in the late Jurassic period (Kimmeridgia and Tithonia). Their fossils are found in Morocco, Switzerland. Other fossils have been found in Britain, France, Germany, and Portugal and recently in Tunisia.
Paleontologists are digging fossils of Machimosaurus rex.
The fossil shape of the skull of giant crocodile Machimosaurus rex.
North Africa in the Mesozoic era is considered the territory of giant animals and including animals with familiar names such as Spinosaurus, White Shark Carcharhinus, Carcharodontosaurus, Paralititan, Sarcosuchus .. .
In recent years, a new species of crocodile has been discovered and named as King Machimosaurus (Machimosaurus rex). Fossils of this species were found in the desert of Morocco, this fossil is a 1.6 meter long skull and the entire excavation was funded by National Geographic.
Group excavated crocodile Machimosaurus rex.
In early 2016, the team published a paper titled “The largest thalattosuchian (Crocodylomorpha) supports teleosaurid survival across the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary” and officially named the giant crocodile Machimosaurus rex.
Judging from the fossil of Machimosaurus rex, paleontologists speculate that this species could be up to 9.6 meters long and weigh up to nearly 3 tons. From this it can be seen that Machimosaurus rex is the largest saltwater crocodile ever discovered by humans. Meanwhile, other saltwater crocodiles living in the Mesozoic era are smaller in size, such as Dakosaurus and Metriorhynchus. But in fact, if both saltwater and freshwater crocodiles are combined together, the size of Machimosaurus rex is still smaller than that of Purussaurus, Sarcosuchus or Deinosuchus.
Machimosaurus rex possesses a long head, but their snout is quite thin and they possess round, short and sharp rows of teeth in the mouth. Their noses are located on the top of their heads, which is an excellent feature for breathing in the marine environment. In addition, they possess eyes that grow on the top of the head quite similar to today’s crocodiles.
Through fossil analysis and paleontology, paleontologists believe that Machimosaurus rex has a rather slender body, but their tails are quite long and wide to support the undersea and undersea movement. maintain the balance of the body. From this it can be seen that the Machimosaurus rex evolved to adapt to life in the ocean and can swim at a very fast pace.
Federico, a paleontologist at the University of Bologna in Italy who participated in the study, said that Machimosaurus’s skull was very large, but their teeth were short, thick and round, indicating that they possessed power. The bite is extremely large and can completely crush a turtle’s shell in one bite. Researchers speculate that their main food is fish and dinosaurs, near-shore animals, while other marine animals like turtles are only considered “desserts”.
The mode of hunting of this huge crocodile is quite similar to modern crocodiles, they will lie ambushed prey or wait for the careless dinosaurs to come and then execute an attack. Surprise at high speed and drag the black creature sinking slowly into the sea.
Bites of this giant crocodile were also found on some fossilized specimens of the Cetiosaurus dinosaur found in Britain. This means that their habitat is not limited to North Africa as other crocodiles such as, Spinosaurus, Carcharodon.
The first full name of this huge crocodile is Machimosaurus rex, including the genus name and species name, because Machimosaurus rex is not the only species found in the genus Machimosaurus.
Machimosaurus rex (far right) is the largest species of the genus Machimosaurus.
The fossil of Machimosaurus crocodile was first found in Switzerland in the early 19th century and it was named after the German paleontologist von Schone and it is considered the largest crocodile known in the period. Jurassic period.
There are currently 5 species in the genus Machimosaurus and Machimosaurus rex are the latest and largest species ever discovered. Judging from the fossils of Machimosaurus crocodiles, they once existed in Switzerland, France, England, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Morocco, and seem to be present throughout prehistoric Europe. The distribution of Machimosaurus crocodile is related to the distribution of land and sea from the late Jurassic to early Cretaceous. Because during that time, the ocean had swept into Europe and North Africa, and this was obviously the habitat of the Machimosaurus crocodile.
The discovery of Machimosaurus rex not only renewed the size limit of Mesozoic crocodiles but also extended the survival limit of Machimosaurus species to the Cretaceous period, from 130 million to 120 million years ago. Previously, there was a view that there was an extinction event in the late Jurassic and caused the crocodile-like animal group called teleosaurid to be extinct in this extinction. But the discovery of Machimosaurus rex reveals if a mass extinction had ever happened, it would not kill life on the planet. “The new finding provides further evidence that many marine reptiles have crossed the border and survived extinction,” concludes Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh, UK.