Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Real swamp monster, boar crock attack

Recently discovered in Africa (A news report on the crocs found in the sahara, good info on Boar croc by the way) and not yet named is the Boar croc. A 6 meter long monster as large as a modern saltie. It lived 90 million years ago (A video showing the hunting sequence of Sarcosuchus, a contemporarie of the Boar croc, sorry about its cheesieness) in a swamp that occupied what is now the modern day Sahara desert.
The Boar croc is just one of the new discoveries, but since this animal was the most formidable I will focus on it.

It was unusual due to the 3 pairs of fangs on the upper and lower jaw. These would have given the Boar croc a much more effective grip when tackling large prey. I am unsure as to the measurements of the fangs, but I recon they were a good 10-15 cm long. Looking at modern crocodiles I would say that for a reasonably large individual the teeth may be about 5 cm in length.

The hunting tactics (vid from you tube, with no sound, but shows wonderfully accurately the hunting style of the Boar croc) of this animal are up to conjecture. I believe that it used its armoured snout to ram prey on the waters edge. Then it would bite into its bewildered victim and drag it into the water to drown it.

The advantage of having such large teeth becomes clear when you look at its contemporaries; giant dinosaurs. It would be unable to lock its jaws onto a wet, slippery and struggling 10 ton dinosaur with tiny teeth which would barely pierce the animals hide, let alone grip the animal.

Another feature of interest is the closeness of the eyes and the narrowness of the back of the head. This is perplexing and I may come back with a solution. The two horns at the back of the head are another unique feature of the Boar croc, perhaps acting as attachments for muscles pulling the front heavy jaws open.
The Boar croc posessed much longer limbs than modern crocs, a suggestion that this animal could run down its prey on land.

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