The Crocodillo

I can’t figure out why something like this wouldn’t have survived pretty much anything. National Geographic reports on the discovery of an armored, omnivorous, desert-dwelling armadillo-crocodile:

Dubbed Armadillosuchus arrudai, the newly described species of crocodile roamed the arid interior of Brazil about 90 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period, scientists said.

And “the strangeness did not stop there,” Thiago Marinho, a paleontologist with the Federal University, added in an email. “This crocodyliform could [chew] like mammals do, like we do.”

Most modern crocs simply use their powerful jaws to clamp down on their prey. But the fossil crocodile could move its lower jaw forward and backward, using its teeth to tear into dried meat, roots, pine branches, and mollusks, Marinho said.

Apparently the 6.6-foot-long beastie could burrow like an armadillo, possibly to hide from other prehistoric killing machines, or possibly because that’s the only way it could have gotten a good soak.

You can read more about Armadillosuchus arrudai (the armadillo-like sphagesaurid) at Science Direct.