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Sarcosuchus skull

A Sarcosuchus skull along side a human skull

Sarcosuchus is a genus of Crocodyliform that lived 112 million years ago in what is now North Africa. Despite being commonly refered to as a Crocodile, and has the nickname 'SuperCroc' in the media, it is not even a Crocodilian. However, its body design resembles a crocodilian quite closly, in basic appearance. Its head is long, however, it is not a robust skull. Its skull is reminisant of the modern Gavial, who are almost exclusively piscivores.


It is classified as a Pholidosaur. When being compared to crocodilians, it is only related in the sense both are within Neosuchia, within the super order Crocodylomorpha.

Two species are currently known. The type species, S. imperator, is the best known species. It was named by Broin & Taquet in 1966. The second species was discovered before S. imperator, but was known under the name Crocodylus, the same genus that modern day Crocodiles belong to. It was named in 1869 by Marsh, and has since been renamed S. hartii'.

The best material from Sarcosuchus was disovered in 1997 by Paul Sereno. During the same expedition that yielded the first fossils of a contemopry Theropod, Suchomimus. The find caused media hype, with many reporters dubbing the Pholidosaur 'SuperCroc'. It rivals large crocodilians in size such as Purusaurus and Deinosuchus, with all three of them measuring around 12m long and weighing around or over 8t.

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