“Kaprosuchus” Formidable Prehistoric Long-Legged Crocodile Lived About 100 Million Years Ago

Kaprosuchus was a prehistoric crocodile that existed in the Middle Cretaceous Period between 100 and 95 million years ago. Paleontologist Paul Sereno found it in Africa in 2009. The only portion of this crocodile he discovered was its skull. Paleontologists were able to determine how big it was and how it lived based on its skull. Sereno gave it the name Kaprosuchus, which means “boar crocodile” in Greek.

One of the most intriguing things about Kaprosuchus is that it was named for the large tusks in its upper and lower jaws. And these tusks are frequently extremely visible in Kaprosuchus photographs. This provides an important hint as to how these crocodiles sought their prey. Kaprosuchus most likely did not limit his hunting to rivers and lakes.

Paleontologists know this because this species lacked the upward-facing eyes that many prehistoric crocodiles possessed, instead opting for forward-facing eyes like other terrestrial predators. This implies it most likely roamed the African plains searching for prey in the same manner that huge cats do now.

However, unlike big cats, it is exceedingly improbable that these creatures hunted in groups. They were most likely solitary hunters, similar to contemporary crocodiles. Once it had located its victim, Kaprosuchus would impale it with its tusks and then grip it with its powerful jaws.

Kaprosuchus was around 20 feet long and weighed about 2,000 pounds. It was therefore somewhat bigger than a modern-day saltwater crocodile, which is around 17 feet long and weighs about 2,000 pounds. However, its legs were likely far longer than those of any modern-day crocodile, allowing it to walk considerable distances on land.

This prehistoric crocodile may have scavenged dead animals, but it most likely hunted for the majority of its meal. Some paleontologists believe it may have devoured some of the dinosaurs that lived during the period, including Spinosaurus pups. It may have also used its tusks to open dinosaur eggs and consume the contents.

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