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Remains of rare prehistoric crocodile found in Denmark

The white cliffs of Stevns Klint are at the centre of yet another mesmerising palaeontological find following a discovery at the UNESCO Heritage site.

Remains of rare prehistoric crocodile found in Denmark
Thoracosaurus teeth and armour plates with rendering of the
prehistoric sea crocodile [Credit: Jesper Milàn]
Inside a block of chalk, the locally-based amateur geologist Peter Bennicke discovered the remains of a crocodile that existed some 66 million years ago. The find includes two well-preserved teeth and two crocodilian armour plates.

“The patterns in the armour plates vary among different types of crocodiles, but along with the two long and slender teeth we can confidently deduce that the crocodile is of the Thoracosaurus genus, which was the most prevalent sea crocodile of the time – just about the end of the Cretaceous period and the beginning of the Tertiary period,” said Jesper Milan, a museum curator with Geomuseum Faxe.

Milan said the find was very exciting as there have been very few similar discoveries in Denmark until now. It fills an important gap in history, he contended.

The remains are expected to be displayed at Geomuseum Faxe later this year.

In an interesting side note, it’s worth pointing out that the amateur geologist Bennicke has been behind several major finds at Stevns Klint – including the remains of a mosasaur, a prehistoric marine reptile, and an enchodus, a long extinct predatory fish.

Source: The Copenhagen Post [May 11, 2019]


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