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180 million year old creature called the "missing link"



The discovery of an ancient crocodile-type that lived at the height of the dinosaur era during the Jurassic period has shed new light on the species.

The 180-million-year-old fossil called Magyarosuchus fitosi shows that some ancient crocodiles have evolved to have dolphin-like characteristics.

The fossil was recently analyzed and had abnormal vertebrae in its caudal fin, which effectively combined two different families of crocodiles – one that had limbs running on the surface and had a needle-like protective armor on its back and one with tail fins and fins Swimming in the old seas.

"This fossil provides a unique insight into the evolution of crocodiles into dolphin and killer whale-like forms, more than 1

80 million years ago," said Dr. Mark Young of the University of Edinburgh's School of Geosciences. "The presence of bone armor and a tailfin underlines the remarkable diversity of the Jurassic crocodiles."

The new finding was made after the team of paleontologists analyzed the bones that had been stored in a museum in Budapest, the fossil was originally discovered in Hungary in the Gerecse Mountains.

"With an estimated body length of 4.67-4.83 m [15 feet — 16 feet]M. fitosi is the largest known non-metriorhynchid Metriorhynchoid," reads the abstract of the study. [19659003] "The combination of maintaining heavy dorsal and ventral arms and a light hypochondric tail is unique and underlines the mosai kinky nature of marine adaptation in Metriorhynchoidea. "

In addition, the newly discovered species had large, pointed teeth that were used to grasping for prey, the statement added.

The study was published on May 10 in PeerJ, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

This story originally appeared on Fox News and was re-released here with permission.


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