An ancient crocodile big enough to swallow a human whole once thrived in East Africa, a University of Iowa researcher says.
"It's the largest known true crocodile," Christopher Brochu, a professor of geoscience, said. "It may have exceeded 27 feet in length. By comparison, the largest recorded Nile crocodile was less than 21 feet, and most are much smaller."
Resembling its living cousin the Nile crocodile, but much more massive, the species lived between 2 and 4 million years ago in Kenya, Brochu reported in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Fossils of the giant crocodile were found in areas of Kenya known for important human fossil discoveries, he said.
"It lived alongside our ancestors, and it probably ate them," Brochu said.
Crocodiles generally eat whatever they can swallow, he said, and humans of that time period would have stood no more than 4 feet tall.
"We don't actually have fossil human remains with croc bites, but the crocs were bigger than today's crocodiles, and we were smaller, so there probably wasn't much biting involved," he said. (UPI)
8m의 대형악어 "사람도 삼켰을 것"
미국 아이오와 대학교의 연구진이 사람을 집어삼킬 만큼 큰 크기의 고대 악어의 화석을 발견했다.
아이오와 대의 지구 생물학 교수인 크리스토퍼 브로츄는 나이로비에 있는 국립박물관의 화석을 분석한 결과 이악어의 몸길이가 27ft(약 8.22m)는 넘었을 것이라고 추정했다.
“이 악어는 고대 인류의 주변에 살았다. 악어들은 일반적으로 삼킬 수 있는 모든 것을 먹는다. 당시 키가 4ft를 넘지 않았던 고대 인류를 잡아먹었을 가능성이 크다.”라고 말했다.