Terminonaris robusta fossil ((Large Long-Snouted Crocodile-Relative)

Terminonaris robusta (Large Long-Snouted Crocodile-Relative)

Geologic age: 90–100 million years ago, Cretaceous Period

Region in Minnesota: Mesabi Iron Range

Fast fact: This extinct cousin to the modern crocodile could get as much as 30 feet long, and would have snatched up fish and sharks with its long, toothy jaws. Former Science Museum of Minnesota paleontologist Bruce Erickson described a well-preserved snout in Minnesota in 1969 and it was named a new species, Teleorhinus mesabiensis. However, it was found to be a case of mistaken identity; in 2001 another researcher determined that the snout was actually the same as Terminonaris robusta.

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