Largest Crocodile Discovered In Kenya
Early humans may have been terrorized by a predator that would have been able to swallow them whole. A crocodile that grew up to 27 feet long has recently been identified as the largest crocodile that we know of.
Fossils of Crocodylus thorbjarnarsoni had been uncovered in the Lake Turkana Basin in the 1960's and 1970's. However, it wasn't until recently that they were identified as a new species.
Crocodylus thorbjarnarsoni roughly resembled a giant, heavyset Nile crocodile, which can reach up to 20 feet long. A 20.3 foot-long saltwater crocodile named Lolong is the largest living crocodile caught so far.
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The category of crocodyliformes includes modern alligators, caimans, and more. It also includes the 40-foot Super Croc that was found earlier. The Super Croc, however, is not a true crocodile in the modern sense, and the discovery of Crocodylus thorbjarnarsoni marks the largest crocodile ever found.
Theories suggest that the crocodile grew so large because prey was so plentiful. One of its victims might have been humans, who had to drink from the lake and stood at about four feet tall.
"It put our ancestors in a bad situation-you die if you don't drink, you may die if you do," said Christopher Brochu, the leader of the study, to National Geographic. "It's the roll of the dice."
There is no evidence, however, to support the claim that the crocodile regularly feasted on humans. No bite marks remain on any human fossils to show these encounters, and even if the crocodile did eat a human, it would have simply been able to swallow them whole.