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New species of prehistoric crocodile found in Colombia

The fossil remains of a new species of crocodile has been found in Columbia. It was the likely prey of a 45-foot-long giant snake called a Titanoboa.

There would have been “no competition whatsoever,” said study leader Alex Hastings, a University of Florida graduate student in vertebrate paleontology who works with the school’s the Florida Museum of Natural History.

“Even the smallest Titanoboa … would have no problem downing even the largest of the new crocodilyforms we found.” Crocodilyforms are reptiles that belong to the order Crocodilia, which includes, crocodiles, alligators, caimans (picture), and gavials, among other species.

Fossils of the snake and the newfound crocodile relative were found next to each other between 2004 and 2007 in an open-pit coal mine in northeastern Colombia—a “remarkable” fossil site, Hastings said.

Both reptiles lived in South America 60 million years ago, when the local environment was on the cusp of transitioning into the continent’s well-known modern rain forests.

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