Late Cretaceous ‘Terror Crocodile’ Ambushed Dinosaurs

An illustration of the 30-foot-long, dinosaur eating crocodilian Deinosuchus. (Tyler Stone)

30-Foot ‘Terror Crocodile’ Ambushed Dinosaurs at Water’s Edge

Health Editor’s Note: Someone weighing 8,000 pounds and 30 feet long could pretty much do whatever it wanted to do…..Carol

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  1. We have to be missing something as to why these creatures from earlier geologic periods were able to grow to such enormous sizes and were so ubiquitous, yet there are so few comparable examples in the fauna of the modern world. I’d love to hear postulations as to why. Was there less gravity, was it because the atmosphere was more oxygen rich, did these creature possess extraordinary pituitary glands,…?

    • Edward, Could it be that there was more space….like when you have a gold fish or Koi and if it is kept in a small bowl it does not grow very much, but when placed into a larger container it gets bigger rather quickly. Bigger might have been better, but bigger needs more food to kept it bigger and then food probably became less available as climate changed, humongous volcanic eruptions sent soil, debris into the sky and that debris did not come crashing immediately to the ground but stayed in the air, or covered plants which could no longer get enough sunlight so they died out and along with the plants went plant eaters, and then meat eaters who ate the plant eaters. Maybe at first mutations that allowed for bigger were favorable but later on smaller fit more into an environmental niche. Then again, if you were eating large creatures, you also needed to be fast and strong and probably of some size in order to bring down your meal…

    • All distinct possibilities, Carol. One of the modern scientific findings vis-a-vis longevity has been the apparent inverse relationship between growth and lifespan. In calorie restriction experiments done with laboratory rats, and then a colony of rhesus monkeys, it was found that restricting calorie intake by approximately 30%, resulted in an increased lifespan of about 30%. I wonder if the same relationship applied to the dinosaurs; enormous growth, coupled with measurably shortened lifespans?

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