Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Skull fragments reveal new ancient crocodile species

Two fossilised skull fragments from a 2ft (60cm) crocodile found on the Isle of Wight point to the discovery of a new ancient species, a study has found.

The pieces - a snout and back part of the skull - were found by different private collectors three months apart.

Experts at the Dinosaur Isle museum near Sandown found the 126 million-year-old fragments "fitted together perfectly to make a complete skull".

The species has been named Koumpiodontosuchus aprosdokiti.

The name - meaning "unexpected button-toothed crocodile" - was given by University of Portsmouth palaeontologist Dr Steve Sweetman, who has published a paper on the discovery in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.

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