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Posts Tagged "crocodilians"

Tetrapod Zoology

For the love of crocodylomorphs

Brilliant life restoration of the recently described Cretaceous baurusuchid Aplestosuchus (with another crocodylomorph - a sphegesaurid - in its mouth), by Rodolfo Nogueira.

Crocodiles, alligators and gharials are the modern members of a far grander, far more diverse clade of archosaurian reptiles termed Crocodylomorpha. It’s gradually becoming better known that, in additional to including amphibious, long-skulled taxa like the living ones, the group encompasses an incredible array of terrestrial and semi-terrestrial omnivores, herbivores, carnivores and insectivores. Some had [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

The New World crocodile assemblage: crocodiles part VII – last in series!

American-crocodile

A momentous thing is about to happen. Take a deep breath and prepare yourself. Today is the day when… I finish my series of articles on the crocodiles of the world. As you’ll recall if you read the previous six parts of this series (all of which are linked to below), I’ve managed so far [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Tool use in crocodylians: crocodiles and alligators use sticks as lures to attract waterbirds

Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) at Madras Crocodile Bank, Tamil Nadu, India, with sticks on its head. What's going on here? Read on. Photo by Vladinir Dinets, from Dinets et al. (2013). Used with permission.

In recent years it has – I really, really hope – become better known that non-bird reptiles (turtles, lizards, snakes, crocodiles, alligators and so on) are not boring dullards, but behaviourally complex creatures that get up to all sorts of interesting things. Play behaviour, complex social interactions, gaze recognition, pair-bonding and monogamy, social hunting, speedy [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Crocopocalypse exposed in public for the first time!

Tet Zoo regulars will remember the detailed montage I’ve produced that hopefully gives some idea of crocodylomorph diversity (Crocodylomorpha = the archosaur clade that includes modern crocodylians and all taxa closer to them than to croc-branch members of Archosauria like the aetosaurs and rauisuchians. Crocodylomorpha is basically equivalent to ‘Crocodilia’ of tradition; most members of [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Crocodiles of Africa, crocodiles of the Mediterranean, crocodiles of the Atlantic (crocodiles part VI)

The Tet Zoo crocodile series is not yet finished, and here we embark on part VI in the series (see below for links to previous parts). This time, we come to the Nile crocodile lineage, and I refer here to a ‘lineage’ rather than to a species since there’s now good evidence that C. niloticus [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Crocodiles attack elephants

Way back in November 2010 a remarkable photo appeared online, showing an adult Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus biting the trunk of an adult female African bush elephant Loxodonta africana (a plague upon those bloggers and others who identified the crocodylian as an… alligator. Duh). You’ve almost certainly seen the photo already: it was widely features [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Tet Zoo Christmassy wishes, 2012

I knocked this up in a hurry yesterday but I think it’s good enough to share publicly. The pristichampsine is meant to be trotting along at speed, and that explains why its hat is falling off. Have a great Christmas and New Year – here’s to 2013. 2012 was a crazy year for me (annual [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Awesome sea-going crocodyliforms of the Mesozoic

The Mesozoic was not a ‘dinosaurs-only theme park’. Numerous other tetrapod lineages were around as well, and there was enough ‘ecospace’ for members of at least some of these groups to evolve giant size and macropredatory lifestyles, and even to dominate certain sections of the Mesozoic world. It’s well known in particular that this was [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

In pursuit of Early Cretaceous crocodyliforms in southern England (part II): of Vectisuchus and Leiokarinosuchus, Bernissartia and the hylaeochampsids

In the previous article we looked at Wealden goniopholidids, focusing in particular on the new taxa named by Steve Salisbury and myself in the review of Wealden crocodyliforms we published last year (Salisbury & Naish 2011). Having gotten some of the relevant taxa out of the way, we now need to crack on and get [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

In pursuit of Early Cretaceous crocodyliforms in southern England: ode to Goniopholididae

Regular readers of Tet Zoo might know that much of my specialised technical research centers around the dinosaurs, pterosaurs and other fossil reptiles of the Wealden Supergroup. What is the Wealden Supergroup? It’s the name given to a series of mudstones, siltstones and sandstones, deposited across the floodplains, lagoons and estuaries of south-eastern England during [...]

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