Australian researchers called a newly classified prehistoric crocodile “swamp king” and thought it could have been as long as 16 1/2 feet and would look like its modern descendants if they were “on steroids”.
Results by Jorgo Ristevski, a doctoral student at the University of Queensland, and his colleagues were published this week in the journal PeerJ.
Since 1886, scientists have called prehistoric crocodiles from that era Pallimnarchus pollen, based on fossil fragments found in southeastern Queensland.
But new studies of a partial skull found in the 1980s by Australian fossil collector Geoff Vincent probably showed new characteristics that it is “the basis for constructing a new genus and species – Paludirex vincenti”, according to the paper.
That is why we named the new genus Paludirex, a name that my co-author Dr. Adam Yates came up with, meaning ‘swamp king’ in Latin, “Ristevski said in an interview with PeerJ.” The name of the species, vincenti, is in honor of the late Mr. Geoff Vincent. “
Ristevski painted a picture of this terrifying animal that would have been one of “the best predators in southeastern Queensland during the Pliocene era, between 5.33 and 2.58 million years ago.”
“If you imagine Paludirex vincenti in life, it would probably look like an Indo-Pacific crocodile on steroids!” according to Ristevski.
The fearsome creature probably celebrated large prehistoric kangaroos and giant diprotodontid marsupials that lived near lakes, rivers and swamps in southeastern Queensland.