Scientists Reconstruct Skull Of “Tadpole”-Like Ancient Predator

Crassigyrinus scoticus was a crocodile-like creature that roamed the Earth 330 million years ago.

Scientists have digitally reconstructed the face of a 330 million-year-old crocodile-like predator that roamed the Earth long before dinosaurs appeared. The digital print of the “tadpole” creature not only reveals what it looked like but also how it may have lived. Live Science said the reconstruction was made possible due to advanced computer technologies like computed tomography (CT) scanning and 3D visualisation. The technologies allowed to digitally piece together the broken fossils of the extinct species Crassigyrinus scoticus. This is the first time that the full look of the ancient beast has been revealed, the outlet further said.

Till now, the research has shown that Crassigyrinus scoticus was a tetrapod, an animal with four limbs that was related to the first creatures that transitioned from water to land, said Live Science.

Tetrapods started appearing on Earth around 400 million years.

But, researchers from University College London say that their latest research shows the animal had huge teeth and powerful jaws. The research was published in Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology.

“In life, Crassigyrinus would have been around two to three metres long, which was quite big for the time,” lead study author Laura Porro, a lecturer in cell and developmental biology at University College London, said in a statement.

“It would probably have behaved in a way similar to modern crocodiles, lurking below the surface of the water and using its powerful bite to grab prey,” Ms Porro further said.

The first specimen of the creature was recorded and named Crassigyrinus by David Meredith Seares Watson in 1929, but the specimen only showed parts of the right side of the skull. It showed only the cheek region and the side of the snout, making it difficult to unravel how the skull looked in its entirety.

According to Jerusalem Post, the species lived in coal swamps in what is now Scotland and parts of North America.

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