A new study on the huge crocodylian, Deinosuchus, has revealed that it had teeth the size of bananas. Now those are huge chompers! In fact, it was such a dangerous predator that it would have been able to take down some of the biggest dinosaurs that lived alongside of it around 75 million to 82 million years ago.
The only thing more terrifying than a crocodile with teeth the size of bananas is more than one of them. There were two species of these “terror crocodiles” called Deinosuchus hatcheri and Deinosuchus riograndensis that lived in the western part of the United States from Montana to the northern part of Mexico. And that’s not all, there was another species called Deinosuchus schwimmeri that roamed from New Jersey to Mississippi.
The Deinosuchus species grew up to 33 feet long which makes them some of the largest crocodylians to have ever roamed the Earth. It even weighed more than some of the biggest predatory dinosaurs that were around during the same time and more than likely even ate some of them.
Despite being referenced to as “terror crocodiles”, they were in fact closer in relation to alligators even though its head was quite different from either of them. While it had a long and broad snout, it was enlarged around the nose area which has never been seen before in any type of crocodylian species.
There were also two big holes in front of its nose at the tip of its snout. Dr. Adam Cossette, who is from the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University and who led the study, said that they’re not exactly sure why the holes were present on Deinosuchus as they are another feature that has never been seen before.
Dr. Cossette went on to say, “Deinosuchus was a giant that must have terrorized dinosaurs that came to the water's edge to drink,” adding, “Until now, the complete animal was unknown. These new specimens we've examined reveal a bizarre, monstrous predator with teeth the size of bananas.”
Stephanie Drumheller-Horton, who is a paleontologist at the University of Tennessee, went into further details, stating, “We actually have multiple examples of bite marks made by D. riograndensis and a species newly described in this study, D. schwimmeri, on turtle shells and dinosaur bones.”
Since the Deinosuchus species died out prior to the mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs, it’s still unclear as to what exactly caused them to disappear. That’s why more studies need to be conducted on these “terror crocodiles” as Dr. Cossette stated that “further research down the line will hopefully help us unpick this mystery and we can learn further about this incredible creature.” Pictures of its skull and jaw can be seen here.