Crocodilians Unknown

Crocodiles, alligators, and gavials are the three families of living Crocodilians (Order Croco-dylia) containing twenty-two species. Modern crocodilians have a full secondary palate that allows them to breathe and eat at the same time, just like a mammal. They are semiaquatic ambush predators that hunt in water but go on land to bask in the sun. Although they generally will eat whatever they can catch (including outboard motors and gas tanks), crocs prefer large fishes, birds, turtles, and mammals.

The oldest known modern crocodilian was Hylaeochampa vectiana from the Early Cretaceous, 110 million years ago, from the Isle of Wight, England. One of the largest crocodiles ever was the 30- to 50-foot Deinosuchus, found in the Late Cretaceous of North America; its skull alone measures 6 feet 6 inches in length. Another was the 40-foot, 10-ton Sarcosuchus from the Tenere Desert, Niger, which had a massive growth on the end of its snout, was covered with bony plates, and thrived 110-90 million years ago. The order diversified successfully by the end of the Mesozoic and flourished in the Cenozoic. Different species spread as far north as Sweden in Europe (Thoracosaurus macro-rhynchus) and Alberta and Saskatchewan in North America (Leidyosuchus canadensis and Bo-realosuchus acutidentatus).

The largest living crocodilian is the Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylusporosus), found from South east Asia to northern Australia and the Solomon Islands. The average length for mature males is 14-16 feet, but outsize specimens greater than 23 feet long have been reliably reported.

Of the nine animals in this list, three (Lip ata, mahamba, and the sulawesi lake crocodile) may be surviving fossil species. The others are distribution anomalies, a mundane explanation for a lake monster (MiGO), and an odd color variant (Pink alligator).

Mystery Crocodilians

Canadian Alligator; Columbus's Serpent; Kipumbubu; Lipata; Mahamba; Migo; Pink Alligator; Pskov Crocodile; Sulawesi Lake Crocodile

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