Recently, Scientists discovered the remains of a baby dinosaur inside a 93-million-year-old Crocodile’s fossilized stomach. Crazy, right?
Scientists at ANSTO and @UniNewEngland have used nuclear techniques to shed light on the feeding habits of a 93 million-year-old crocodile that devoured a juvenile dinosaur based on fossilised stomach contents found in Central Queensland.
— ANSTO (@ANSTO) February 16, 2022
The fossils of the 93-million-year-old crocodile were found in 2010. But advanced imaging was performed on these remains in recent times. This fossil is officially called “Confractosuchus sauroktonos” and was found near the Winton Formation in Central Queensland.
The research was carried out by a large team led by Dr. Matt White at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum (QLD) and the University of New England, who are publishing their research in the journal Gondwana Research.
Inside the Crocodile’s stomach: A baby dinosaur?
Scientists say that the Crocodile had devoured a baby dinosaur, based on the assessments done on its stomach’s contents.
Confractosuchus sauroktonos, the name translates to “broken crocodile dinosaur killer” with lengths of 2 to 2.5 meters, like back in the Cretaceous period. ‘Broken’ because the remains were found in a giant, broken boulder.
Scientists confirm that the chicken-sized juvenile dinosaur was the last meal of Confractosuchus sauroktonos, the 93-million-year-old crocodile. The imaging processing of the remains was done partly better because of the help of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO).
Tech Explorist cited senior instrument scientist Dr. Joseph Bevitt revealed that “dinosaur bones… entirely embedded within the dense ironstone rock.” Further, he added, “In the initial scan in 2015, I spotted a buried bone in there that looked like a chicken bone with a hook on it and thought straight away that it was a dinosaur.”
“3D digital scans from the Imaging and Medical Beamline guided the physical preparation of the crocodile, which was impossible without knowing precisely where the bones were,” said Dr. Bevitt.
Conversely, the fragile samples had to be carefully reduced to a size that synchrotron X-rays could penetrate for high-quality scanning. “The results were outstanding in providing an entire picture of the crocodile and its last meal, a partially digested juvenile dinosaur.”
Scientists also believe that the crocodile died in a megaflood event not too long after eating a baby dinosaur.
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