Saturday, November 21, 2009

When Crocs Ate Dinosaurs

Some people get quite upset over the notion that dinosaurs might have been eaten by "crocs" (or more accurately, crocodyliforms - extinct ancestors of modern crocodiles) but it's true, they certainly were. In fact, the crocodyliform group was arguably as diverse and successful as the dinosaurs were in their day. You might even argue that modern crocs have lost out big time compared with those modern dinosaurs, the birds, but in fact they've simply consolidated what they're good at into 23 very successful species... even though some are doing better than others. Although modern crocodylians are doing a lot of things right, they're not as diverse as they once were. If you're not convinced you should check out National Geographic's new show called, provocatively enough, When Crocs Ate Dinosaurs. It premiere's tonight, but you can find the full listings for when it's on in your area at National Geographic's website (in the US, it's on Saturday 21 November at 9pm EST).

While I'm not entirely sure that the names will go down in historical infamy, Paul Sereno will introduce you such marvellous creatures as Dog Croc, Boar Croc (pictured) and even Pancake Croc. That's right, Pancake Croc. While I doubt Paul is suggesting that it dined with the assistance of maple syrup, it certainly had a very bizarre skull. We hosted Paul here in Darwin, and introduced him to some remarkable things that modern crocs can do. Watch the show and be awed by what has gone before, and what we still have.