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!
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.
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