Ancient Crocodiles Helped Death Roll Dinosaurs Into Extinction



Paleobiomechanicist Ernesto Blanco said that crocodiles were plenty strong enough to grab hold of dinosaur limbs and hunks of flesh and twist them right on off. BRUTAL!

Via LiveScience:

Bite marks found on fossils suggest that Deinosuchus preyed on dinosaurs such as hadrosaurs, which were large duck-billed dinosaurs, and medium-size bipedal dinosaurs known as theropods, a group that includes Tyrannosaurus rex and the ancestors of birds. Scientists have suggested that Sarcosuchus might also have fed on large dinosaurs, while Purussaurus hunted large mammals such as giant rodents, as well as turtles and fish.

Researchers suggested that like modern crocodilians, these ancient reptiles might have used death rolls to finish off their prey. This lethal move involves reptiles holding their prey tight with their mighty jaws and spinning their entire bodies to rip off flesh or tear off limbs.

However, the death roll can generate substantial forces in the skull. To see if ancient crocs had skulls that were strong enough to withstand these stresses, investigators modeled the skulls of 16 living crocodilian species and three extinct crocodilian groups.

The researchers suggest that Deinosuchus and Purussaurus could execute death rolls on, respectively, dinosaurs and large mammals. However, narrow-snouted Sarcosuchus probably could not, as the forces to its skull may have been too great.

Read the rest at LiveScience:

28 Comments on "Ancient Crocodiles Helped Death Roll Dinosaurs Into Extinction"

  1. Ted Heistman | May 5, 2014 at 5:42 pm |

    Trying to to find things to eat is a son of a bitch!

    • Ted Heistman | May 5, 2014 at 5:45 pm |

      What I mean is, crocs might seem dumb but catching food is hard! They need every last volt of brain power they have.They can pull of some crazy clever shit! I have been watching “Naked and Afraid” and all the episodes I have seen so far the people go weeks in the jungle with no food, may be catch one snake or some snails.

      • Echar Lailoken | May 5, 2014 at 6:04 pm |

        That is without prior knowledge of where they are, though? Mind you I am speaking from book learning and second hand information.

        I may have to check out that Naked and Afraid show. It appears another show along the same vein has recently premiered, called Naked After Dark.

        • Ted Heistman | May 5, 2014 at 8:45 pm |

          It so far seems to be a reality show about enduring starvation. One guy lost 40 lbs in 21 days. I’ve yet to see anyone construct a bow and arrow.

          • Echar Lailoken | May 5, 2014 at 8:53 pm |

            I’ll check it out. One would need to find the proper wood to make a bow and arrow. It would be easier to make a spear, or so my limited stored book learning tells me. I suppose it depends on what tools they are allowed. Without a knife and flint they are seriously limited.

          • Ted Heistman | May 5, 2014 at 9:43 pm |

            The main problem with spears is that it takes a lot of practice to throw them accurately or to learn stalking skills in order to get close enough to the quarry. Probably the easiest and most effective tool to construct would be an atlatl. I haven’t seen anyone build one yet.

            I saw one woman build a lobster trap, which actually caught a lobster and I was impressed with that. There is way more food along the ocean than in the middle of the jungle however..

          • InfvoCuernos | May 5, 2014 at 10:58 pm |

            I think the hard part to making a bow would be that you would need to be able to cut, so unless they snuck a pockety knife up their butt, or can knap flint, they are SOL. I count flint knapping as one of the most important survival skills, along with starting fires and not letting yourself get talked into going out in the wilderness nekkid.

          • kowalityjesus | May 6, 2014 at 12:04 am |

            I read recently that the Inuit used a 10,000 y/o meteorite to cold-forge hunting tools. That is quite the providence.

          • Ted Heistman | May 6, 2014 at 12:17 am |

            Yeah that last skill you mentioned…d’oh! That’s a doozy! Its so funny watching these dudes lose all interest in sex by day three of going to bed hungry. Some of these chicks have decent bodies on them too.

          • Ted Heistman | May 6, 2014 at 12:22 am |

            As far as how I think I would do? Probably not a lot better. I think if I had a lighter and a decent knife(plus clothing) I would be OK, because that’s the kind of thing I do for fun, but naked, with just a machete and something to make sparks with? not so much.

          • trapping & cordage

          • Ted Heistman | May 6, 2014 at 9:13 am |

            They had a woman that knew how to make deadfalls. She had no luck though. Probably because she had nothing good for bait. They literally had absolutely no food at all.

          • kowalityjesus | May 6, 2014 at 12:01 am |

            I remember reading that paleoanthropologists think the atlatl was a quantum leap in human technology. It made human hunting WAY more effective by increasing several-fold the amount of force you could put into a spear throw.

          • Ted Heistman | May 6, 2014 at 12:22 am |

            Yeah they fucked up some Conquistadors with them too. They could pierce plate armor.

          • Echar Lailoken | May 6, 2014 at 3:42 am |

            Force and distance, I think.

          • Echar Lailoken | May 6, 2014 at 3:40 am |

            What about a 3 pronged fishing spear? If you can get close, you don’t have to throw. Although would be moot in a place without a stream or etc… I can see your point about throwing a spear though. I completely forget about the atlatl. That was high tech at some point.

          • Ted Heistman | May 6, 2014 at 10:20 am |

            “When we had no meat, we ate fowl. When we had no fowl, we ate craw dads. When We had no crawdads we ate sand.”

          • Matt Staggs | May 6, 2014 at 8:13 pm |

            “You ate what?”

          • Ted Heistman | May 6, 2014 at 8:29 pm |


          • Ted Heistman | May 6, 2014 at 10:28 am |

            I actually caught a trout with my hands once. It was just floating near the surface, and I slowly put my hand under it. It surprised me so much that I immediately dropped it back into the water.

            I used to catch crawdads and minnows, and mad toms, and hellgrammites as a kid to use for bait. I would come across big snapping turtles every now and then and in the late summer I would sometimes come across large pike trapped in pools.

          • Ted Heistman | May 6, 2014 at 10:32 am |
          • Oginikwe | May 7, 2014 at 8:23 am |

            Lol!! I love the crayfish! They are mighty warriors. Every time I see one and they swing their claws at me, I hear them saying, “Touch me and I’ll rip your freaking head off!!!” Lol. I suppose you get like that when everything in your world wants to eat you.

          • Ted Heistman | May 7, 2014 at 9:11 am |

            Yeah, they are so ornery they’re cute! I had some for pets in an aquarium once. I always ended up with one.

          • Echar Lailoken | May 6, 2014 at 3:58 pm |

            The old “Indian” way of catching of fish. Resting your hands in water to normalize, then grabbing quickly. In episode two, the woman catches the catfish by hand.

          • Porcupines are the woodsman’s friend: everyone can get a porky if they’re starving. Since they are vegan, they’re tasty. Helgrammites are hellacious ugly but great bait for beautiful browns. Snappers are good to eat but are very ill-tempered and pee on you if you pick them up. What are “mad toms”? Never heard of them. Last pike we had, we buried. They should be re-named Too-many-damn-bones fish. In fact, I think that’s what the Native Americans in our area called them.

          • Ted Heistman | May 6, 2014 at 11:52 pm |

            I don’t fucks with porcupines anymore:

          • Ted Heistman | May 6, 2014 at 11:55 pm |

            We called them “stonies” They are little catfish that live under rocks. They make good walleye bait. I would find one hiding under a rock and so I would bang on the rock with another rock stunning it, and then scoop it up when I turn the rock over. This was along the Chenango river in Binghamton, NY

    • kowalityjesus | May 5, 2014 at 11:55 pm |

      oh the plight of the phage

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