Crocodile Evolution

Crocodile Evolution - Crocodile Evolution: One Of The Most...

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Crocodile Evolution: One Of The Most Ancient Animal Groups Crocodiles, Alligators, Caimans and Gavials: we have a clear picture of these creatures. They are squat, toothy and most of the time very dangerous creatures. However, crocodiles and their cousins did not always look like we see them today and their way of living was different than it is now. Crocodiles came from a very prolific and successful group of reptiles called Archosaurs. These were diapsid (meaning they have two openings in their skull behind each eye) reptiles that have transitioned into a huge array of forms. This group is what led to the production of the dinosaurs, birds and of course the crocodiles. So you may be wondering where and when did the crocodile and its life begin? We will probably never really have an exact date. The earliest crocodile ancestor that was identified was a creature that has been given the unusual name and it was called Barbarenasuchus brasiliensis. The Barbarenasuchus brasiliensis was part of a incredibly large group of not only related, but also very similar looking animals and they were called the Sphenosuchia. You may be wondering how did researchers come to conclude that the Barbarenasuchus was related to crocodiles. If it did not look like a crocodile and all that was left of the Barbarenasuchus were its skeletal remains. The identification and how the scientist determined what belongs to the crocodile group have been based on features of the skeleton, with most of the emphasis relating to the skull.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2011 for the course EB 110 taught by Professor Ms.thomas during the Spring '11 term at BYU.

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Crocodile Evolution - Crocodile Evolution: One Of The Most...

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