Archive for April, 2014

Know Your Bones: April 2014

he_who_is_nobody
he_who_is_nobody
Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:00 pm by he_who_is_nobody

Last month was a really challenging, some might even say diabolical, fossil. After a whole month, no one was able to guess the correct answer. I guess that makes me the winner for stumping everyone. Now I know that showing fossil/bone fragments is the way to go if I want to win at this game.

 

What was the critter that owned the jaw from last month’s challenge? The jawbone belonged to Deinosuchus, which stands for terrible crocodile.

 

(Taken at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science)

 

Deinosuchus lived 80-73 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous, in North America. Fossils of this critter have been found in Canada, Mexico, and several states in the U.S. During this time, North America was cut in half by the Western Interior Seaway. Deinosuchus lived on the coastline of this seaway feeding on large fish and marine reptiles in the sea and large animals (dinosaurs) from the land.

 

(Taken at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science)

 

The image above shows a lower jaw from a modern American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) compared with the partial jaw of Deinosuchus. Deinosuchus could reach a length of 12 meters and a weight of 8.5 metric tons. This makes Deinosuchus one of the largest crocodilians to ever live. Although it’s name means terrible crocodile, Deinosuchus was actually an alligator, making it the largest alligator to have ever lived.

 

Time for next months challenge.

 

 

(Taken at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science)

 

Because last month’s was so difficult, I decided to be nice and choose an easy one. I would wish everyone luck, but it is not needed this time.

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