o The Frog Blog: "Catodile" Unearthed in Tanzania

Thursday, 5 August 2010

"Catodile" Unearthed in Tanzania

An artists impression of Pakasuchas
A bizarre crocodile like creature, with feline features, has been unearthed in 105 million year old rock in Tanzania. Its teeth don't resemble anything like those of modern crocodiles and are much more cat like. The animals also had other feline characteristics like slender limbs and a flexible backbone that would have helped it move with agility and grace.

The newly discovered animal, which has been named Pakasuchus kapilimai, appears less heavily armoured as other crocodiles, except along the tail. This suggests the creature was quite mobile and probably actively foraged on land, unlike water-dwelling crocs. Other aspects of its anatomy suggest it was a land-dwelling creature that likely feasted on insects and other small animals to survive. The researchers found one complete specimen and portions of seven other individuals. The name derives from Ki-Swahili and Greek - paka translates to cat and souchos is ancient Greek for crocodile. For more information read Ian Sample's piece in today's Guardian.

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