It’s as intimidating as its name sounds.
Very few of us would be willing to come up against a crocodile and many of us would run the other direction if we saw a snake.
Perhaps that is what makes this unusual reptile they recently discovered so frightening. After all, it’s a combination of a snake and a crocodile.
According to KTLA, the Serpentisuchops was actually discovered 25 years ago in eastern Wyoming. Scientists have been looking into this unusual creature, whose name is translated to “Snakey crocodile-face,” and it is just frightening enough to concern you.
Of course, you don’t have to worry about running into one of these creatures in the wild. This particular specimen lived 70 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period.
In order to put this unusual prehistoric reptile together, researchers gathered all of the parts they could find. A partial skull, lower jaw, some vertebrae, and teeth were found by archaeologists.
Fortunately, the specimen was well preserved and after arriving at the Paleon Museum in Glenrock, Wyoming, researchers began studying the unusual reptile.
25 years later, they published the results in the journal Cell’s iScience. There also included an illustration drawn for the research paper, and it is just as frightening as you would expect.
Amazingly, scientists were not expecting to find Serpentisuchops and it really has changed their thoughts on marine reptiles in many ways.
According to the Daily Star, a geology professor associated with the study, Scott Persons, said: “When I was a student I was taught that all late-evolving plesiosaurs fall into one of two anatomical categories. Those with really long necks and tiny heads, and those with short necks and really long jaws. Well, our new animal totally confounds those categories.”
The Serpentisuchops is part of the plesiosaurs species and its discovery took paleontologists by surprise. The 7 m tall reptile would swim through the ocean and attack its prey with ferociousness. It had a long neck and elongated jaws, which made it possible for lateral attacks to occur swiftly on anything it came across.
According to Yahoo!, Persons went on to explain that the articulation joints allowed a lot of lateral flexibility. When you combine it with the powerful neck muscles, you have an unusual reptile that swings his neck from side to side and can extend its reach far enough to grab anything that is in the area.
Let’s just agree that it’s an amazing creature but we’re all happy it lived 70 million years ago.SKM: below-content placeholder