Wednesday, 4 June 2014

900-Lb. Ancient Croc Tore Through Turtles, Battled Monster Snakes

By Megan Gannon, News Editor | June 02, 2014 02:47pm ET

It was 16 feet (4.8 meters) long and tipped the scales at 900 lbs. (408 kilograms). With a blunt snout and powerful bite, it ate turtles and battled monster snakes. Now this extinct dyrosaur, a type of crocodilian, which roamed an ancient rainforest a few million years after the dinosaurs died, has a scientific name.

It's called Anthracosuchus balrogus after the fiery Balrog that lurked deep in the Middle-Earth mines of Moria in J.R.R. Tolkien's novel "The Lord of the Rings."

"Much like that giant beast, Anthracosuchus balrogus was [awakened] from deep within a mine after 60 million years trapped within the rocks of tropical South America," study researcher Jonathan Bloch, associate curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, told Live Science in an email.

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