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Ancient 'Godzilla' Crocodile Discovered

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the friendly-looking-critter dept.

Science 175

SenseOfHumor writes "Paleontologists have discovered a huge crocodile which was a predator of large sea creatures. A Jurassic-age crocodile had the massive jaws and jagged teeth needed to hunt large sea prey, paleontologists say. The crocodile, nicknamed Godzilla, was nearly four metres long with a short snout like a T. rex, four fins and a vertical, fishlike tail." Photos and drawings are available at National Geographic, and more science at ScienceDaily.

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Now that's what I call (2, Funny)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013453)

" massive jaws and jagged teeth "
"The crocodile, nicknamed Godzilla"

my idea of intelligent design :)

Digg speaks; Slashdot listens. (0, Troll)

queef_latina (847562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013609)

Seriously, check it out: http://www.digg.com/ [digg.com]

It's slashdot without the faggots.

What an awesome site. Check it out, and leave slashdot in the dust.

peter pan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013692)

but does he try to eat a certain captain of pirates in neverland?

Re:Now that's what I call (2, Funny)

speed_of_light (930261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013734)

Not really. Intelligent design would have allowed him to speak, and given him arms and legs with which to do great things for the world. . . Wait, scratch that. It's been done. Didn't work out.

Re:Now that's what I call (1)

CriminalNerd (882826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013974)

Although it didn't work out, you can still see the remnants downtown.

asdf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013455)

bn

Gojira (5, Funny)

joe_bruin (266648) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013456)

Clearly this proves Intelligent Design, because only God would make Godzilla, the holy lizard in His name.

Re:Gojira (1)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013471)

Yeah, I guess he created humans to kill each other for his entertainment for all eternity he had to settle for watching this croczilla pulverise sea creatures lacking the benefits of jagged teeth.

Re:Gojira (1)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013486)

he=before

Hello there (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013518)

You are an idiot, have a great day.
signed,
People who don't give a shit what you actually think.

Stop the mockery. (-1, Offtopic)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013564)

Look into history, on the one side that aacknowledged the presenc of God as "unknowable" and "unconcious." As far as I know, anyone that makes ANY kind of determination or distinction of history is making one based on Intelligence. Please don't confuse THAT intelligent design cult with our fellow Intelligent scientists.

And did you not study your adversary? His Bible, record to the words of Jesus and King David, says the people are gods. This isn't difficult to comprehend: you are a god if you are living: you are a god if you can make a judgment on facts and lies that move towards you! Prayer is just this: put a matter in the hands of the almighty, above all others, an appeal to Him that is not in the world while in the world. The Pharisees, holding the Talmud -- even THEY acknowledge God, with exception that God is unknowable and unconcious. Can you see a baby throwing a tantrum? That day-old bottle of spoiled milk is the work of a whiny-god, and in that bottle of spoiled milk was created life as the result of a tantrum. Search your mind.

This isn't a difficult parable! I found no fault in the Scientists, but when they devolve just as that little baby and argue what does or doesn't exist: unicorns, Landover Baptist, sound, leprachauns! It is all evidence or SHARED PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER [wikipedia.org] (Folie a Deux). Let me remind you, BOTH FEUDING PARTIES ARE NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF THOSE HONEST PEOPLE THAT PARTAKE ON THESE PRINCIPLES. Evidence, or Disorder.

Re:Stop the mockery. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013611)

Why don't you go bother the folks in the JREF forums?

Re:Gojira (2, Informative)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013747)

I know you were joking but...

While this isn't an interesting find because of its size, it does add to the credibility of evolution. This species is similar to ancient crocodiles, which also had more features in common with fish, i.e. their tails, but (in addition to some other changes) this fossil has a unique skull. This is a great example of another transitional fossil to add to the record, and this find follows what evolution predicted to the "T". This fossil is exactly what one form of evolution predicts, specifically convergent evolution.

For those who don't know, evolution encompasses three basic principles, or "subgroups" for lack of a better word, of evolution that further refine, explain, and predict various mutations. The other two are divergent evolution and what is often referred to as coevolution (a parasite and a host, predator and prey, or animals and flowers that depend on each other for pollination or other things often evolve in response to each other over millions of years). Granted Evolution encompasses much more than the tiny fraction of a percent mentioned here.

Evolution is such a well studied and useful science, its ashame that so many ignorant people don't understand it like they claim they do. They don't know about the 10's of thousands of transitional fossils, they haven't seen the proof, yet alone understand it. At this point in the game, there really is no arguing against evolution in any place where real science is practiced, its like arguing against gravity. These I.D. people don't realize how stupid they are making themselves look. This isn't meant to be inflammatory, its just some people need to wake the hell up.
Regards,
Steve

Re:Gojira (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014196)

And a "croc" with four fins instead of legs. Another transitional feature.

Evolution and Natural Design... (0)

dan_sdot (721837) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013854)

Evolution and natural design are NOT mutually exclusive. Did you know that before you mocked a seriously backed theory? Natural Design simply states that the forces of evolution and natural selection are not smart enough to arrive at the complexity of life that we see today by themselves. Arriving to the state of life today could not be random, but must be guided by some higher level intellegence - which is usually assumed to be God.
People should actually research things before condemning them.

Re:Evolution and Natural Design... (0, Flamebait)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013919)

I can not decide if you are being a troll or not.

If you are - then - whatever.

If it is not - then it's called a "joke". Even if you believe in ID, it's still a joke, and a funny one. The parent did not state the validity of ID - merely making a joke about the use of the word "God" in the name of an ancient creature.

If you can not take the joke, then there is something truly sad about your whole position. Heck, people make jokes about mine all the time, and I laugh, because its funny.

So please, think about Turning the Other Cheek, being Blessed with the Meek and all of that.

Re:Evolution and Natural Design... (1)

floodo1 (246910) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013993)

higher level intellegence, or just randomness.

ever consider that maybe its all just a big coincidence? its equally as plausible.

Re:Evolution and Natural Design... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14014001)

Natural design? Seriously backed?

Please continue. The Intelligent Design community doesn't need adversaries if they have more people like you on their side.

Re:Gojira (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014071)

You don't seriously think there isn't more to the universe than we can see now?

Where do you think the stories about sea monsters and dragons across multiple cultures come from?

Mario Mayors and Disasters. (3, Funny)

CHESTER COPPERPOT (864371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013458)

You'll notice on that first photo on the National Geographic that Godzilla is in fact battling what scientists have renamed a Mothra not a pterodactyl.

Cue the.... (5, Funny)

Chickenofbristol55 (884806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013459)

large crowd of screaming Japanese people!

Not that huge (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013465)

How this could be a "huge" crocodile? wikipedia lists crocs bigger than that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crocodile [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not that huge (4, Funny)

mchawi (468120) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013500)

I'm glad I'm not the only one that had this thought. I've seen Steve Irwin wrestle crocs larger than that ;)

Maybe it grows bigger if you're nice to it. Of course, maybe they're thinking 'if I drop a nuke on this I'd have Godzilla!'. Who ever knows with scientists...

Re:Not that huge (1)

Paska (801395) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013701)

> I've seen Steve Irwin wrestle crocs larger than that ;)

Crickey! This Steve Irwin bloke sounds like he is an alcoholic. [news.com.au]

Or he is just stupid.

Yes, I am Australian and no average Australian's don't try to wrestle crocs on a daily basis.

Re:Not that huge (3, Interesting)

Audacious (611811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013608)

Yeah, I went "Say what?" when they said 4 METERS! The Smithsonian had a snake on display one time that wound through four rooms and was large enough to eat an elephant whole. THAT was large! (And a bit scary too!) Made me nervous just seeing how large it was and thinking what I'd do if I met such a creature (like mess my pants and run like crazy!).

But then, if you have never gone to Washington D.C. and gone to the Smithsonian - you need to make the trip. The natural sciences building has all sorts of fantastic things on display. They had a wooly mammoth on display when I was there as well. Huge beast. But no where near as scary as that giant snake.

The got'cha was the skeleton of the T-Rex they had hidden behind a turn. You came around the turn and there it was with it's mouth open ready to bite you in half. I heard several people make half-screams (those little eeps!) when they came to it. Strangely my first reaction was to sock the thing one until I realized it was just a skeleton. I guess the old fight or flight thing was in overdrive after having been shocked with the snake.

Re:Not that huge (2, Funny)

Loonacy (459630) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014027)

Hmm... Smacking a T-Rex on the snout...
Sounds like a terrific idea to me.

Re:Not that huge (1)

speed_of_light (930261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013628)

You'll find the biggest crocs in congress!

Re:Not that huge (1)

Colin Douglas Howell (670559) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013771)

Yeah, lots of people here are picking up on the overuse of breathless superlatives with this thing. It's kind of ridiculous. Four meters is hardly "huge" even by the standards of modern crocs, much less some of the prehistoric ones. (It does sound rather large for the sort of specialized marine crocodiles this beast was related to.) Quotes like "the most fearsome predator in the sea" (from the Science Daily article) are also silly, considering that this time frame was also the era of the giant pliosaurs [dinosauria.com] , which could easily reach ten meters in length with jaws two meters long.

Still, I wouldn't like to swim in waters inhabited by these brutes.

Oh, please... (3, Funny)

rasafras (637995) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013467)

Only 13 feet? Hell, I used to wrestle gators bigger than that in New York sewers...

Size doesn't matter (3, Informative)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013563)

belive it or not mosquitos are the no. 1 killers of the modern world

Re:Size doesn't matter (1)

mikecron (686696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013982)

No, they're not. It's what they carry.

Re:Oh, please... (2, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013665)

" Hell, I used to wrestle gators bigger than that in New York sewers..."

Didja stop before or after you got your ass kicked by some punks shouting cowabunga?

Re:Oh, please... (1)

j0ugh (310597) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013705)

Well, I used to bullseye wombats bigger than that in my T-16 back home.

Re:Oh, please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013828)

> Only 13 feet? Hell, I used to wrestle gators bigger than that in New York sewers...

Yeah, right! What a croc!!

This was on Digg yesterday... (-1, Troll)

yoho_jones (626889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013469)

Seriously. People visit both sites. Can't we get original content.

Re:This was on Digg yesterday... (1)

Sinryc (834433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013498)

Digg? What is this Digg you speak of? And Im being serious.

Re:This was on Digg yesterday... (1)

yoho_jones (626889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013505)

digg.com Lets you submit stories and people vote on most relevent giving the audience a quick view of the most interesting stories. Started by Kevin Rose of Tech Tv.

Re:This was on Digg yesterday... (1)

Sinryc (834433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013565)

Oh. Thank you. If I had mod points, and could, I would mod you +1 Informative.

Re:This was on Digg yesterday... (5, Insightful)

c_forq (924234) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013534)

seriously, I read Slashdot for the comments. I heard about this probably 36 hours ago from National Geographic (who will be featuring it in their December issue). For almost any news on slashdot I have another site I read it on first. But I have been reading slashdot for probably 2 years (and posting for a few weeks now) because I think the comments posted here and the moderation system is far more valueable then just news reports. I'm fine with dupes, slow news, and bad editors as long as there is a good amount of intelligent commentors.

Re:This was on Digg yesterday... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013580)

Zing! That's exactly why I stay. I've been reading for quite some time and post regularly. The parent is probably just disgruntled because since he/she's joined the __intelligent__ posters have kind of dwindled away.

I dunno, I do know though that I am not a fucking psychic and considering the age of the UID he/she really don't post often and should go bitch somewhere else.

Technically Digg.com isn't original either (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013540)

They are both news agregators and thus provide links to stories from some other website. Hence neither provide original content.

Re:This was on Digg yesterday... (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013568)

I'm finding more and more articles that appear on Slashdot, appear on an au news site that I read (http://abc.net.au/news [abc.net.au] ) days, even weeks, beforehand.

Yet I still keep reading slashdot...

Re:This was on Digg yesterday... (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013784)

And I too will continue to read Slashdot until they post:

Ancient 'Godzilla'-like Slashdot Dupe Discovered

Re:This was on Digg yesterday... (1)

Monkofdoom (928921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013830)

It may be 4m in size but i still wouldn't want it sneaking up on me. Who knows maybe this is a baby :s

Re:This was on Digg yesterday... (1)

lbrandy (923907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013575)

Seriously. People visit both sites. Can't we get original content.

And some of us don't. Can we have comprehensive content, instead? It takes more time for you to scrollwheel past something you've seen before then it does for me to scour countless website for good information.

Let them extract the DNA (0, Offtopic)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013473)

I hope DNA is still useful and extractable. Let them (scientists) extract it. If they can find a few cells, cloning could be possible. Then, once again there can be a chance of seeing the giant creature alive.

Re:Let them extract the DNA (5, Informative)

Anon.Pedant (892943) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013544)

You can't be serious; these are 140 million year old fossils! These are rocks, and you can be sure they won't "find a few cells." Even DNA from mammoths that have been frozen for only 10 thousand years are fragmentary.
(Or maybe I just don't get the joke.)

Re:Let them extract the DNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013594)

No, you got it alright. let him speak so that everyone will know him to be an ....

CRIKEY! (4, Funny)

perlow (451482) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013488)

"Now mate, look what happens when I shove my whole body up this Jurrasic croc's cloaca. She gets really grumpy, But not as grumpy as my wife!"

Re:CRIKEY! (1)

ross.w (87751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013690)

yes, but does it eat babies?

Re:CRIKEY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013798)

You're thinking of the jurrasic dingos

Re:CRIKEY! (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014150)

...isn't she gawgeous?

Huge Crocodile! Nearly 4 meters long! (5, Informative)

Anon.Pedant (892943) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013501)

Maybe the poster was so breathless from all the hype that they didn't notice that this HUGE Godzilla-like beast is SMALLER than modern crocodiles. Nile Crocodiles can be 5 meters long, while Saltwater Crocs can be over six meters. Revised headline: Paleontologists discover midget crocodile! -- Anonymous Pedant

Re:Huge Crocodile! Nearly 4 meters long! (4, Informative)

Artega VH (739847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013536)

Exactly. In fact the largest recorded Saltwater crocodile was almost 9 meters in length [wikipedia.org] .

The first thing I thought when I read this (and its been in regular news sites for a day and a bit) was "mmm thats pretty small" and its especially small when compared with SuperCroc [wikipedia.org] (although there is an interesting clash of largest recorded sizes for salties between those two wikipedia articles)

Re:Huge Crocodile! Nearly 4 meters long! (3, Informative)

itsthebin (725864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013683)

[Quote]Largest crocodile ever recorded? What about the big fish stories I mentioned earlier? Would you believe the largest saltwater crocodile ever reported was 10.1 m (33.1 feet)? This animal was apparently killed in the Bay of Bengal, and was so large only its head was recovered. A skull reportedly belonging to this animal was stored in the British Museum, but when it was measured later it was estimated to have come from a 15.7 ft (4.8 m) crocodile - less than half the claimed length. The skull of another claimed 29 ft (8.8 m) monster was also later determined to belong to a crocodile no larger than 16.2 ft (4.9 m). These are still big crocodiles, but typical of the exaggeration normally associated with large crocodiles. Still, some of these stories seem more credible. Saltwater crocodiles above 6 m (20.3 feet) were certainly much more common in Australia and SE Asia before extensive hunting for their skins in the 1940's, 50's and 60's wiped out the big crocodiles. Some old hunters claim to have shot animals over 8 m (26 feet) during this period (e.g. a 27 ft [8.1 m] saltwater crocodile from the Staaton River in Queensland in the early 1970's). But without reliable measurements, such records are lost to the past. These days, if you wish to convince anyone then please use a straight tape measure whilst sober from the tip of the upper jaw to the tip of the complete tail! So what is the largest crocodile ever recorded? In more recent times, there are very few reliable measurements of extremely large crocodiles, but they do exist. A skull from a saltwater crocodile from Orissa, India, was large enough to have come from a crocodile between 20 and 23 feet in length. Its true size remains a mystery. The two largest reliable records of complete animals are both from 20.3 ft (6.2 m) crocodiles: the first was shot in the Mary River in the Northern Territory of Australia in 1974 by poachers and measured by wildlife rangers; the second was killed in 1983 in the Fly River in Papua New Guinea. In this latter crocodile, it was actually the skin that was measured by zoologist Jerome Montague, and as skins are known to underestimate the size of the actual animal it's likely this crocodile was at least another 10 cm / 4 inches longer. This is my candidate for the largest crocodile ever recorded. Unfortunately, because of the time needed for wild crocodiles to reach this size, the low number of individuals which seem predisposed to reach such sizes, and problems of crocodiles conflicting with expanding human populations, it seems unlikely that we will see many of these giants again.[/quote] http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/herpetology/britto ncrocs/cbd-faq-q2.htm [ufl.edu]

Re:Huge Crocodile! Nearly 4 meters long! (1)

nosferatu-man (13652) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013604)

Hell, it's smaller than a bull alligator.

We're used to old news... (4, Funny)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013510)

...but come on, this is just Prehistoric.

Re:We're used to old news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14014195)

What do you call a dinosaur who quotes Plato?

A philosoraptor!

First thought... (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013521)

was "man, Toyko is gonna be f%cked.
Second thought was does this give more credability to the people that say man existed the same time as these things, citing myths containing them to be evidence.
Third thought is that thing is way too freaking small to be Godzilla, I'm disappointed now. (All because of the name, if they would have just said Giant Serpent or something I would be fine).

Re:First thought... (3, Funny)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013847)

Japanese people were a lot smaller back then.

Snouts (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013528)

I wonder why modern crocs have elongated jaws. Does it give them any particular advantage in hunting?

Any zoologists care to weigh in?

-jcr

Re:Snouts (2, Interesting)

Nazadus (605794) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013637)

I'm not a zoologist, however if I had to venture a guess:
The snouts lengths increased as it began eawting more water based creaters than land based. Fish would seem allot easier to catch and eat (this saving energy) than a bear or whatever.

Having a longer snout would also make it harder to close if it catches something at the bare end of it's teeth -- since it's something small like fish, it doesn't matter. But if it's a bigger animal (like a Dinosaur), I would assume that having a smaller but more potent (size matters here, just inversly) would be *much* more beneficial.

They are cold blooded creatures, so the more energy they save -- the better off they are.

This is just a guess on my part though.

Re:Snouts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14014038)

For the purposes of the ancient art of Muff Diving [wikipedia.org] ..

This is just a croc... (1)

ViaNRG (892147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013572)

how can this thing possibly be any larger than two [nationalgeographic.com] maybe three feet? ;)

Zonk you pulling another 48er? (3, Interesting)

seanvaandering (604658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013603)

Check these timestamps...

Science: Ancient 'Godzilla' Crocodile Discovered
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @09:48PM

Watching All Six Star Wars Movies Simultaneously
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @07:44PM

Slashback: KDE, Tsunami Hacker, and Image Bugs
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @06:43PM

IT: Ignore Vista Until 2008
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @05:54PM

Games: The Reality of Patent Expirations for the NES
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @05:12PM

Your Rights Online: Three Companies Shutdown For Spyware Bundling
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @04:31PM

AOL Fight Narrows To Two Players
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @03:49PM

IT: Sony Pulls Controversial Anti-Piracy Software
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @03:14PM

Games: Old School Gameplay Collides With Modern Graphics
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @02:41PM

Linux: Microsoft Reports OSS Unix Beats Windows XP
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @01:55PM

Book Reviews: Hardening Linux
Posted by samzenpus on Friday November 11, @01:10PM

Linux: Dell's Open Source Desktop Systems
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @12:29PM

Your Rights Online: Amazon Gets Patent on Consumer Reviews
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @11:50AM

Science: Quantum Computing Regulation Already?
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @11:14AM

IT: Data Centers And DC Power
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @10:33AM

Apple: Mac OS X x86 Put To The Test
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @09:51AM

Linux: Torvalds Gets Tough on Kernel Contributors
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @09:12AM

Games: Revolution Least Expensive Next-Gen Console
Posted by Zonk on Friday November 11, @08:31AM

That would be almost 14 hours solid on Slashdot, with a break provided by samzenpus at 1pm - is it really that bad to work for CmdrTaco? :)

Re:Zonk you pulling another 48er? (1)

teh*fink (618609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013715)

hah! he probably queued up the stories

Re:Zonk you pulling another 48er? (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013745)

"That would be almost 14 hours solid on Slashdot..."

Well that sank my amusing crack about his proof-reading competence.

Crocs rule OK - but why this one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013630)

41m crocodile remains found - http://english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/377/16116_f ossils.html [pravda.ru]

"One species, Ramphosuchus crassidens of India, grew to an enormous size: 15 metres or more." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavialinae [wikipedia.org]

"Sarchosuchus imperator was truly enormous. Its head was two metres long, its body the size of a school bus and it weighed in at a full eight tonnes." ... "The scientists spent a long time estimating the length of the crocodile. By comparing its skull with other recent finds they estimate that the animal could have reached as much as 40ft (11-12 metres) in length."
http://www.supercroc.com/pressarticles/bbc.htm [supercroc.com]

Or cool for another reason: Pristichampsus + Baurosuchus

But I don't get why this particular find is (while admittedly interesting) is supposedly particularly cool?

Size is relative (1)

quantaman (517394) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013631)

Sure 4 m may not seem like a giant crocodile but I don't think anyone can deny that the creature in this "photo [nationalgeographic.com] " is a giant for sure!!

Seriously, that flying dinosaur it's going after would have to be the size of a sparrow for the scales in that picture to work!

respect_for_national_geographic--;

Re:Size is relative (2, Informative)

Colin Douglas Howell (670559) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013709)

Sure 4 m may not seem like a giant crocodile but I don't think anyone can deny that the creature in this "photo" is a giant for sure!!

Seriously, that flying dinosaur it's going after would have to be the size of a sparrow for the scales in that picture to work!

respect_for_national_geographic--;

You can leave your respect for National Geographic alone; there's nothing wrong with the scale in that painting as long as you remember that most pterosaurs weren't huge. This croc's skull is about 2.5 feet long, with the jaws being a little over half that length, and there were plenty of pterosaurs with wingspans of a meter or less, especially during the Jurassic and earlier. It was only when the birds started diversifying in the Cretaceous, taking over all the small-flyer niches, that the remaining pterosaurs were forced to become giants.

Re:Size is relative (1)

quantaman (517394) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013820)

You can leave your respect for National Geographic alone; there's nothing wrong with the scale in that painting as long as you remember that most pterosaurs weren't huge. This croc's skull is about 2.5 feet long, with the jaws being a little over half that length, and there were plenty of pterosaurs with wingspans of a meter or less, especially during the Jurassic and earlier. It was only when the birds started diversifying in the Cretaceous, taking over all the small-flyer niches, that the remaining pterosaurs were forced to become giants.

I don't doubt that there were a large number of species of small flying dinosaurs but the public conception is that most flying dinosaurs were approximately man-sized and National Geographic knows this, I feel the picture was deliberatly taking advantage of this perception and coupled with the godzilla reference attemping to make us think this creature was far larger than it actually was.

Seriously, though (1)

s388 (910768) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013904)

the NG article is absurd. i generally find popular science writing to be pretty terrible, but this is just pathetic.

4 meters. and they're calling it godzilla?

"Fossils from a real-life sea monster--a massive crocodile-like species--have been unearthed in Patagonia, Argentina. The animal likely measured 13 feet (4 meters) long from nose to tail."

a MASSIVE SEA MONSTER? it's 13 feet. there was a 14-foot alligator practically in my grandparents backyard a few years ago. big whoop.

this is probably the single-most bizarre distortion i've ever seen any popular science/nature magazine. ever. i'd still respect NG if they talked about the actual significance of the new creature, if it has any; at least to my senses it seems notable for its non-reptilian properties.

i mean this is even more ridiculous than the article about the giant squid, which showed a single live picture, and then the photo-series gradually degraded into.... pieces of dead squid, then to paintings of fictional monsters, then to photographs of the scientists, and then to shoddy line-drawing maps of the sea of japan. it was like a bad dream: with each picture in the series, i swore to myself that it couldn't possibly get any worse, yet it kept surpassing itself.

and this..... THIS 15-foot "GODZILLA".... this, this is worse. god have mercy on us all.

the links and facts about some truly monstrous reptiles posted above by other commentators here are infinitely more worth of our attention.

Slashdot Haiki (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013673)

taco shits his pants
underwear soars into crack
fucking shitty mess

ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille... (1)

moviepig.com (745183) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013682)

...a ferocious predator, feeding on other marine reptiles and large sea creatures...

...and yet, National Geo's dramatic illustration shows the fearsome beast springing from the waves to snatch down a flying ptero-whatzis. I guess a photo-op is a photo-op...

Only four meters? (1)

darklordyoda (899383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013688)

I move that we change the name of the animal from "Godzilla" to "Godzuki". Then promptly try to forget it.

Again and Again Nature points out the folly of man (1)

skeptictank (841287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013763)

GRODZILLA!

It's small compared to modern crocs (1)

skeptictank (841287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013778)

It only measured 13 feet from head to tail. Steve's baby wrestles with crocs bigger than that.

This a pathetic attempt to get some funding so the researchers won't have to go back to making fries.

Re:It's small compared to modern crocs (1)

davetv (897037) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013908)

Here in Queensland Australia a four metre crocodile is not uncommon at all, they get bigger than that.

Please follow my logic... (1)

Eradicator2k3 (670371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013787)

1 - "Godzilla" croc fossil discovered in Patagonia.
2 - Patagonia is located in South America
3 - Points 1 & 2 make this fossil an "American Godzilla"
4 - Please change all nickname references of this creature to "GINO" or "Godzilla In Name Only."

Thank you.

Not very exceptional (2, Interesting)

Belseth (835595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013793)

The largest crocodile fossils found so far have mostly been in South America, there have been large ones found in Texas as well. The biggest so far was around 50', at last word. That would dwarf the new find. I would have said the fish shaped tail made it unique but that's not the first time for that feature. Actually sounds fairly unexceptional so far. Have to check out the NG issue and see if there's more to it. 19' to 21' is the accepted high end for salt water Crocs but there have been larger ones found. I have heard reliable stories about one just under 30' which is possible but I think that would be an extreme high end and the animal would be over 100 years old. There was a Nile found recently that I saw film of that seemed to be north of 20', I believe they called it Gustav. I've seen film of 19' crocs and this one was considerably larger. Personally I think it was well north of 20', not 25' or 30' but definately bigger than 20'. At first they thought it was over 60 but later decided it was closer to 35 which gave it a lot of growth potential. It would seem to support the idea that the real high end is 25' to 30'. I doubt many ever reached that size given most simply don't live long enough. Even Gustav seems to have died around the time it was filmed and hasn't been seen since. The poor animal even had machine gun wounds on it's side. I'd be surprised if any currently alive were over 21'.

Not So Fast (1)

faqmaster (172770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013804)

Everyone who says this croc wasn't that big, hold on a second. If you'd read the article you would have learned that it was not only four meters long, but it also had A FRICKIN' LASER BEAM on its head.

question (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013813)

why do some ancient bones like this fossilize and others just whither away into dust? I'm guessing the latter happens more often than not otherwise there would be bones just about everywhere from every creature.

Noodles (1)

Old Wolf (56093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013850)

Reportedly, the beast was discovered after a search began after a tipoff from a Japanese man on his deathbed

A croc with fins and a fish tail... (1)

batquux (323697) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013869)

Can someone explain the Godzilla comparison to me?

I'm recovering, but... (2, Interesting)

MattW (97290) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013872)

I still thought of this [biblegateway.com] .

But (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013874)

Have they alerted Toyko?

AAAAEEEEEEEIIIIIIII the soldiers have failed to stop Gogirra!

Gomek was much bigger (1)

larrya (450022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013894)

Gomek was a large croc captured in the Amazon and bought by Arthur Jones, inventor of the Nautilus machines. It was transferred to the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine FL. It was nearly 7 meters long.

I saw it before it died a few years ago. Really BIG.
Lots of sturdy security fencing around it to prevent it from snatching a tourist. You could see it from underwater through plate glass. It's mouth was big enough to hold the whole me.

tv show (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014160)

I love that guy! He had the neatest true raw uncut adventure show ever on TV. Cheap but slick low budget production, just some dudes with cameras out in the jungle. You could just tell they got in hairy situations all the time. They always packed heat, and had the neatest wild critters. I bet the stuff they DIDN'T show was pretty wild! The TV show ran back in the early 60s and was called Wild Cargo. Every episode they brought some example out, there was this wimpy guy who acted as the straight foil, and Arthur would spring something nasty on him, like "here, pet this wild 10 inch long poisonous amazon jumping spider", or something like that.

Anyway, if it is the same croc, I remember reading about all the BS he had to go through to bring it in.

obligatory (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013907)

I, for one, welcome our new Fossilized Ancient 'Godzilla' Crocodile overlords.

Obligatory Blue Oyster Cult Quote... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013950)

With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound
He pulls the spitting high tension wires down

Helpless people on a subway train
Scream bug-eyed as he looks in on them

He picks up a bus and he throws it back down
As he wades through the buildings toward the center of town

Oh no, they say he's got to go
Go go godzilla, yeah
Oh no, there goes tokyo
Go go godzilla, yeah

Huge....?? (1)

natedog44 (928601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014074)

"Paleontologists have discovered a HUGE crocodile which..." ...was 12 ft long.

Huh, must be a slow news day. =P

4 Meters? (1)

POds (241854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014116)

I wouldnt be surprised to see a 4 meter salty up round North NT or QLD, Australia. 3 meters is probably average. 4 Meters should be attainable.

Re:4 Meters? (1)

POds (241854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014131)

In fact...

The largest species of crocodile in the world is Crocodylus porosus, the saltwater or estuarine crocodile. In fact, this is the largest living reptile in the world, bar nil. Snake afficionados may argue that there are longer snakes, but none combine both length (over 6 metres) and body mass (over 1.5 tonnes) to reach such large overall sizes like the saltwater crocodile can.

Big Croc [ufl.edu]

Burt, in the photograph above, is a captive crocodile in Darwin, Australia. He's over 16 feet (4.9 m) long, which is close to the average maximum size for saltwater crocodiles.

Would you believe the largest saltwater crocodile ever reported was 10.1 m (33.1 feet)?

------

So in wrapping up... ooowww lets all tremble with fear at the might ancient crocodile. The croc's of today would eat him for breakfast!

Go you modern day crocs!!!

What kills me... (1)

stephencrane (771345) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014151)

...is that THIS is what they waste the 'Godzilla' appellation on? A weird looking crocodile ancestor? Give me a break. This a slap in the face to all those poor hapless Japanese people who have lost their lives in the many senseless monster attacks since the end of WWII. I would have hoped that fossil geeks would have the wherewithal to save the Big G label for something that could have eaten a T-rex onehanded. Kids these days.

Pffftt (1)

Archades54 (925582) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014164)

theres 3-4 meter crocs at the zoo where i live, i was 2 meters away from one with the fence open when i was a child, the trainer used a garden rake to "pat it", not to mention they use to sit on the thing....cept a few years later one of the trainers lost his arm after it deathrolled it outa the socket pwned

Has Slashdot hit a new High? (3, Interesting)

POds (241854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014175)

Wikipedia now include templates that state certain articles have been linked to slashdot, and thus require extra attention :|

[quote]
This article has recently been linked from Slashdot (backlink).
Please keep an eye on the page history for errors or vandalism.
[/quote]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estuarine/Saltwater_C rocodile [wikipedia.org]

It's not 'Godzilla'... (1)

Hi-Nu (532202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014199)

it's DinoCroc [imdb.com] !!!
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