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Current Crocodiles News and Events, Crocodiles News Articles.
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Some extinct crocs were vegetarians
Based on careful study of fossilized teeth, scientists Keegan Melstom and Randall Irmis at the Natural History Museum of Utah at the University of Utah have found that multiple ancient groups of crocodyliforms -- the group including living and extinct relatives of crocodiles and alligators -- were not the carnivores we know today. Evidence suggests that a veggie diet arose in the distant cousins of modern crocodylians at least three times. (2019-06-27)

Baby pterodactyls could fly from birth
A breakthrough discovery has found that pterodactyls, extinct flying reptiles also known as pterosaurs, had a remarkable ability -- they could fly from birth. No other living vertebrates today, or in the history of life as we know it, have been able to replicate this. This revelation has a profound impact on our understanding of how pterodactyls lived, which is critical to understanding how the dinosaur world worked as a whole. (2019-06-12)

Chimpanzees catch and eat crabs
Chimpanzees have a mainly vegetarian diet, but do occasionally eat meat. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now shown for the first time that chimpanzees also eat crabs. In the rainforest of Guinea, the researchers observed how chimpanzees regularly fish for crabs. (2019-05-29)

Study: Infamous 'death roll' almost universal among crocodile species
The iconic 'death roll' of alligators and crocodiles may be more common among species than previously believed, according to a new study published in Ethology, Ecology & Evolution and coauthored by a researcher at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2019-04-18)

Jurassic crocodile discovery sheds light on reptiles' family tree
A 150 million-year-old fossil has been identified as a previously unseen species of ancient crocodile that developed a tail fin and paddle-like limbs for life in the sea. (2019-04-04)

Mammals' unique arms started evolving before the dinosaurs existed
One of the things that makes mammals special is our diverse forelimbs -- bat wings, whale flippers, gibbon arms, and cheetah legs have evolved to do different, specialized tasks. Scientists wanted to see where this mammalian trait started evolving, so they examined fossils from early mammal relatives to see when the upper arm bones started diversifying. They discovered that the trait took root 270 million years ago -- 30 million years before the earliest dinosaurs existed. (2019-03-18)

A small plesiosaur lived in Spain 125 million years ago
Plesiosaurs, erroneously viewed as dinosaurs, inhabited all the seas between 200 million and 65 million years ago. In the Peninsula, only scarce remains of these long-necked reptiles had been found. Now a group of palaeontologists has found the most abundant collection of fossils in Morella, Castellón. Among them, there is one vertebra that belonged to a type of plesiosaur never before discovered in the country, the leptocleidus. (2019-03-04)

High CO2 levels can destabilize marine layer clouds
Computer modeling shows that marine stratus clouds could disappear if atmospheric CO2 levels climb high enough, raising global temperatures. (2019-02-25)

Crocodile face off
Despite often being portrayed as creatures that have remained virtually unchanged for millions of years, a new Harvard study shows crocodiles have repeatedly altered their developmental patterns, leading to much of the diversity found in modern, living crocodiles. (2019-02-20)

Iguana-sized dinosaur cousin discovered in Antarctica
Scientists have discovered the fossils of an iguana-sized reptile, which they named 'Antarctic king,' that lived at the South Pole 250 million years ago (it used to be warmer). Antarctanax was an early cousin of the dinosaurs, and it shows how life bounced back after the world's biggest mass extinction. (2019-01-31)

Crocodiles have complex past
A new study offers a different version to the evolutionary past of modern-day crocodiles and alligators. The study, published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, says crocodiles and alligators came from a variety of surroundings beginning in the early Jurassic Period, and various species occupied a host of ecosystems over time, including land, estuarine, freshwater and marine. (2019-01-24)

Gigantic mammal 'cousin' discovered
During the Triassic period (252-201 million years ago) mammal-like reptiles called therapsids co-existed with ancestors to dinosaurs, crocodiles, mammals, pterosaurs, turtles, frogs, and lizards. One group of therapsids are the dicynodonts. Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden, together with colleagues in Poland, have discovered fossils from a new genus of gigantic dicynodont. The new species Lisowicia bojani is described in the journal Science. (2018-11-22)

Humans may have colonized Madagascar later than previously thought
New archaeological evidence from southwest Madagascar reveals that modern humans colonized the island thousands of years later than previously thought, according to a study published Oct. 10, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Atholl Anderson from the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, and colleagues. (2018-10-10)

A pheromone-sensing gene that predates land-dwelling vertebrates
Scientists at Tokyo Tech have discovered a gene that appears to play a vital role in pheromone sensing. The gene is conserved across fish and mammals and over 400 million years of vertebrate evolution, indicating that the pheromone sensing system is much more ancient than previously believed. This discovery opens new avenues of research into the origin, evolution, and function of pheromone signaling. (2018-10-09)

Birds' voiceboxes are odd ducks
Birds' voiceboxes are in their chests instead of their throats like mammals and reptiles. Scientists aren't sure how or why birds evolved these unique voiceboxes, but a new study in PNAS sheds some light on how they came about. Similarities in the windpipes of birds, crocodiles, cats, mice, and salamanders suggest that birds' weird voiceboxes might have arisen from a windpipe reinforcement. From this, scientists can learn about the sounds bird ancestors-- dinosaurs-- made. (2018-09-24)

Dangerous reptiles
Attacks by crocodiles have been rising in South East Asia since they became protected animals, a study finds. (2018-06-27)

New wasps named after Crocodile Dundee and Toblerone amongst 17 new genera and 29 species
A total of 17 new genera and 29 new species of parasitoid wasps are described from across all tropical regions of the world. Amongst the novel taxa, there are three genera named after the action comedy 'Crocodile Dundee', the chocolate brand 'Toblerone', and the Madagascar spiny forests. In addition, five species are named after institutions holding some of the largest wasp collections. The findings are published in the open access Journal of Hymenoptera Research. (2018-06-25)

T. Rex couldn't stick out its tongue, new research shows
Dinosaurs are often depicted as fierce creatures, baring their teeth, with tongues wildly stretching from their mouths like giant, deranged lizards. But new research reveals a major problem with this classic image: Dinosaurs couldn't stick out their tongues like lizards. Instead, their tongues were probably rooted to the bottoms of their mouths in a manner akin to alligators. (2018-06-20)

In the gaping mouth of ancient crocodiles
A new study by a team of international experts, led by University of Witwatersrand PhD candidate Kathleen Dollman and Professor Jonah Choiniere published today in the American Museum Novitates, endeavoured to further explore the mouth of one of the earliest occurring and least understood groups of crocodilians, the shartegosuchids. (2018-06-18)

Bristol scientists discover a new way to find mass extinctions
During the history of the Earth, there were many mass extinctions, when huge numbers of species died out. They are usually easy to identify because of the sudden extinctions, followed by a gap, and then the recovery of life. (2018-06-13)

Jurassic fossil tail tells of missing link in crocodile family tree
A 180 million-year-old fossil has shed light on how some ancient crocodiles evolved into dolphin-like animals. (2018-05-11)

Crocodiles listen to classical music in MRI scanner
What happens in a crocodile's brain when it hears complex sounds? An international research team headed by Dr. Felix Ströckens from the Department of Biopsychology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum has provided the answer to this question. In a first, the researchers examined a cold-blooded reptile using functional MRI. They were thus able to determine that complex stimuli triggered activation patterns in the crocodile's brain that are similar to those in birds and mammals (2018-05-03)

Dinosaurs ended -- and originated -- with a bang!
It is commonly understood that the dinosaurs disappeared with a bang -- wiped out by a great meteorite impact on the Earth 66 million years ago. But their origins have been less understood. In a new study, scientists from MUSE -- Museum of Science, Trento, Italy, universities of Ferrara and Padova, Italy and the University of Bristol show that the key expansion of dinosaurs was also triggered by a crisis -- a mass extinction that happened 232 million years ago. (2018-04-16)

The dinosaur menu, as revealed by calcium
By studying calcium in fossil remains in deposits in Morocco and Niger, researchers have been able to reconstruct the food chains of the past, thus explaining how so many predators could coexist in the dinosaurs' time. This study was conducted by researchers from the CNRS, ENS de Lyon and Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University, in partnership with the French National Museum of Natural History and Sorbonne University. (2018-04-11)

Print a 200-million-year-old dinosaur fossil in your own home
The digital reconstruction of the skull of a 200-million-year-old South African dinosaur, Massospondylus, has made it possible for researchers to make 3-D prints and in this way facilitate research on other dinosaurs all over the world. (2018-01-12)

Giant extinct burrowing bat discovered in New Zealand
The fossilized remains of a giant burrowing bat that lived in New Zealand millions of years ago have been found by a UNSW Sydney-led international team of scientists. Teeth and bones of the extinct bat -- which was about three times the size of an average bat today -- were recovered from 19 to 16-million-year-old sediments near the town of St Bathans in Central Otago on the South Island. (2018-01-10)

It's all in the ears: Inner ears of extinct sea monsters mirror those of today's animals
A new study led by Oxford University Museum of Natural History has revealed that an extinct group of marine reptiles called sauropterygians evolved similar inner ear proportions to those of some modern day aquatic reptiles and mammals. The research is published in Current Biology today. (2017-12-07)

Evolution: It's all in the ears
A new study by a team of international experts, led by Dr James Neenan, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits University in South Africa, has revealed that a completely extinct group of marine reptiles called sauropterygians evolved similar inner ear proportions to those of some modern day aquatic reptiles and mammals. (2017-12-07)

New tyrannosaur fossil is most complete found in southwestern US
A fossilized skeleton of a tyrannosaur discovered in Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was airlifted by helicopter Oct 15, and delivered to the Natural History Museum of Utah where it will be uncovered, prepared, and studied. The fossil is approximately 76 million years old and is likely an individual of the species Teratophoneus curriei. (2017-10-19)

Bite on this: Kansas State University researcher finds alligators eat sharks
Jaws, beware! Alligators may be coming for you, according to a Kansas State University researcher. A study in Southeastern Naturalist documents American alligators on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are eating small sharks and stingrays. This is the first scientific documentation of a widespread interaction between the two predators. (2017-10-16)

Evolution: The beneficiaries of mass extinction
Mass extinctions were followed by periods of low diversity in which certain new species dominated wide regions of the supercontinent Pangaea, reports a new study. (2017-10-10)

Monstrous crocodile fossil points to early rise of ancient reptiles
A newly identified prehistoric marine predator has shed light on the origins of the distant relatives of modern crocodiles. (2017-10-02)

UT faculty member helps identify new species of prehistoric crocodile
Around 95 million years ago, a giant relative of modern crocodiles ruled the coastlines and waterways of what would one day become north central Texas. A team including the University of Tennessee, Knoxville's Stephanie Drumheller-Horton has identified this species, Deltasuchus motherali. (2017-09-12)

Birds' unique skulls linked to young dinosaur brains
Bird skulls and brains look like those of young dinosaurs, providing clues to their unique evolution and modern success. (2017-09-11)

Sticking your neck out: How did plesiosaurs swim with such long necks?
When dinosaurs ruled the land, plesiosaurs ruled the oceans. Famous for their incredibly long necks -- some of which were up to 7 meters long -- plesiosaurs have remained an evolutionary mystery for hundreds of years. Pernille V. Troelsen, a Ph.D. student at Liverpool John Moores University, UK is simulating plesiosaur locomotion with a 3-D model to understand how they could swim with such long necks. (2017-07-04)

Deaths of migrating wildebeests key to Serengeti's vibrant ecosystem
Wildebeest carcasses, casualties of the world's largest overland animal migration, pile up annually on the banks of the Mara River in Africa and play a crucial role in vibrant ecosystem of the Serengeti plains, a new Yale-led study has found. (2017-06-19)

Wildebeest feast: Mass drownings fuel the Mara River ecosystem
Each year, more than a million wildebeest migrate through Africa's Serengeti Mara Ecosystem. While crossing the Kenyan reach of the Mara River, thousands perish. A new study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to reveal how wildebeest drownings impact the ecology of the iconic river. (2017-06-19)

Paleobiologists make intriguing new discoveries about dinosaurs' ancestors
Dinosaurs' closest ancestors were at the base of the bird branch. Many scientists have pictured them in a somewhat chicken-like shape, bipedal, quite quick and agile in comparison with crocodiles. By slowly evolving their forelimbs into wings they finally became birds. However, this logical construct was recently upended by the international group which found a new candidate for an early dinosaurs' predecessor. It was Teleocrater rhadinus whose bone fragments were discovered in Tanzania in the 1930s. (2017-05-31)

The secrets behind T. rex's bone crushing bites: Researchers find T. rex could crush 8,000 pounds
The giant Tyrannosaurus rex pulverized bones by biting down with forces equaling the weight of three small cars while simultaneously generating world record tooth pressures, according to a new study by a Florida State University-Oklahoma State University research team. (2017-05-17)

Ancient reptile tracks in the Pyrenees may include evidence of a new type of footprint
A large set of tracks made by archosauromorphs in the Pyrenees mountain range may include a new type of footprint made by reptiles that lived 247 million years ago, according to a study published April 19, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Eudald Mujal from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues. (2017-04-19)

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