BUENOS AIRES, July 23 (Reuters) – A 150-million-year-old fossilized skeleton found within the mountains of southern Chile was decided to be the ancestor of the fashionable crocodile, the Argentine Museum of Pure Sciences introduced on Friday.
The species, named Burkesuchus mallingrandensis, was present in 2014 in an Andean fossil deposit close to the Patagonian city of Mallin Grande by Argentine and Chilean researchers. Since then it has been analyzed on the Argentine Museum of Pure Sciences (MACN) in Buenos Aires.
The specimen is a “grandfather” of present crocodiles and will enable scientists to grasp how they developed, the museum stated.
Scientists consider the fossil will assist them perceive how these reptiles went from being terrestrial to aquatic. Together with different fossils, the invention helps the concept South America was the cradle of evolution for crocodiles.
About 200 million years in the past “crocodiles had been smaller, and didn’t dwell in water. Paleontologists at all times wished to know what that transition was like,” Federico Agnolin, who discovered the specimen, informed Reuters.
“What Burkesuchus reveals is a collection of distinctive traits, which no different crocodile has as a result of they had been the primary that started to get into the water, into recent water,” Agnolin stated.
Based on the MACN, crocodiles appeared originally of the Jurassic interval, across the time of the primary dinosaurs. In just a few million years they acquired into the water, due to the existence of heat and shallow seas. South America is understood for its richness in marine crocodile fossils.
Reporting by Miguel Lobianco, writing by Maximilian Heath and Hugh Bronstein; Enhancing by Cynthia Osterman
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