Scientists uncovered a 93-million-year-old crocodile with a baby dinosaur in its belly.
Experts called it the Confractosuchus Sauroktonos or “broken crocodile dinosaur killer”.
According to a report from the Gondwana Research, the reptile grew to around 2.5m (6-8ft), and it could die in a flood.
By using 3D scans and X-rays, researchers examined the crocodile in more detail after they preserved it 35% with a “near-complete skull” and its fearful teeth. However, the hard mud surrounding the creature is the reason for preserving it so long.
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Joseph Bevitt, a co-author in the study, said “In the initial scan in 2015, I spotted a buried bone in there that looked like a chicken bone with a hook on it and thought straight away that it was a dinosaur. Human eyes had never seen it previously, as it was, and still is, totally encased in rock. The fossilized remains were found in a large boulder. Concretions often form when organic matter, or say a crocodile, sinks to the bottom of a river.”
For high-quality scanning, experts reduced the samples of rock to a size that X-rays could penetrate. The results were surprising even for them, giving a clear view of what the reptile was eating in its last meal, which was a tiny dinosaur.