|“||A crocodile so huge, it hunted dinosaurs. Deinosuchus, the giant crocodile. Measuring 50 feet long from head to tail and weighing up to 9 tons, Deinosuchus is the biggest crocodile that has ever lived. It seems that dinosaurs don't always rule the roost.||„|
|— Allen, about Deinosuchus|
Deinosuchus (name meaning "Terrible Crocodile") is a genus of crocodilian that originated during the Late Cretaceous period in what is now North America. A giant prehistoric relative of alligators measuring 15 meters long and weighing around 13 tons, Deinosuchus is the largest crocodilian that has ever lived on Earth, larger than Sarcosuchus in size. Thus, it is also among the world's most well-known prehistoric animals.
In the episode "Lake Primal", a single female Deinosuchus, named Allie, was brought back from Texas of 75 million years ago. She resides in the Crocodilian Lake exhibit of the park.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Deinosuchus lived throughout North America during the Late Cretaceous period from 85–65 million years ago, living up until the end of the Cretaceous period, and therefore died out with the dinosaurs during the K/T mass extinction event. Because of its size and power, Deinosuchus was among the apex predators of their ecosystem, rivaled only by the tyrannosaurs such Albertosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex, and most commonly preyed on herbivorous dinosaurs such as the hadrosaurs and even young sauropods.
The first remains of Deinosuchus were discovered in North Carolina (United States) in the 1850s; the genus was named and described in 1909. Additional fragments were discovered in the 1940s and were later incorporated into an influential, though inaccurate, skull reconstruction at the American Museum of Natural History. Since their first discovery, most Deinosuchus fossils have been found in parts of Texas were Dallas is today. Additionally, Deinosuchus has also become one of the most famous prehistoric creatures in the world.
Deinosuchus was an immensely large creature and their physiology was identical to modern-day crocodilians, only they were much larger. Deinosuchus measured up to 50 feet (15 m) in length from head to tail and weighed more than 9–18 tons (19,000–39,000 lbs.), exceeding the weight of a double-decker bus. This makes Deinosuchus not only the largest crocodilian that had ever existed, surpassing the likes of Sarcosuchus (another large crocodilian from the Early Cretaceous) in size by being larger, longer, stronger, and heavier but also makes it one of the largest predatory animals of all time. These crocodilians were so huge, they hunted and fed on dinosaurs.
Deinosuchus had the overall natural appearance of any crocodilian; rough, scaly skin, long snout, legs spread out, teeth going up and down from jaws, etc. It had large, robust teeth that were built for crushing, and its back was covered with thick round bony plates. They are speculated to have had dark scales and thickly-built heads and necks. With that large size, it also had a large bite force that was over 11 tons (24,000 lbs.), making it stronger than that of the famous Tyrannosaurus rex. One study indicates that Deinosuchus may have lived for up to 150 years, growing at an identical rate to that of modern crocodilians and maintaining this growth over the same period of time.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
Deinosuchus behaved similarly to other crocodilians. It lived and lurked in rivers, lakes, large ponds, and even in the oceans, waiting for large prey to come, but it would also attack smaller creatures. Deinosuchus hunted the large megafauna of its time, like the modern Nile Crocodile, with prey including hadrosaurs, ceratopsians, and even young sauropods. It would even attack the large apex-predators like Albertosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex. Like the estuarine, or saltwater crocodiles, in Australia and Papua New Guinea in the 21st century, Deinosuchus would have also journeyed into the open oceans to find food. These giant crocodiles could live alone but also in small groups of five or six individuals and even young, 1-ton Deinosuchus could easily have been dangerous. The females were more dominant than the males.
On land, like modern crocodilians, Deinosuchus basked on the sandbank and some even had their mouths open. Much like dogs, they panted to actually lose a bit of heat. With their colossal jaws, Deinosuchus was adapted to dragging down huge prey. Like a modern-day crocodilian, when dinosaur herds crossed rivers that the Deinosuchus lived in, the large crocodilian would seize the opportunity to hunt members of the herd. It would burst to the surface and drag down their prey.
|“|| If one was under the belief that the Australian saltwater crocodile was the largest and most dangerous crocodilian, they'd be sadly mistaken. That mantle belongs to Deinosuchus ("Terrible Crocodile"). Famous for being known as the "Giant Crocodile", Deinosuchus was interestingly discovered to be related to Alligators rather than Crocodiles.
Nevertheless, Deinosuchus was literately the largest crocodilian that has ever lived. Measuring 50 feet in length and weighing as much as a double-decker bus, these Late Cretaceous crocodilians were so immense that they hunted and fed on any prey, from the mightiest pterosaurs to creatures even as big as dinosaurs.
These giant crocodiles hunted in ponds, lakes, rivers, and even in the open ocean. With their huge jaws and immense strength, these crocodilians were built to drag huge prey down through the water. It appears that like all crocodilians, Deinosuchus bask on the bank. Especially when they are in numbers of several individuals.
|— Allen, in his Journal, about Deinosuchus|
- Deinosuchus is the last and largest species of prehistoric crocodilian in the park.
- Deinosuchus is notorious for preying on large dinosaurs.
- Deinosuchus is more related to alligators than to the crocodile. Despite that, it is nevertheless the largest crocodilian that had ever existed.
- The sound effects of Deinosuchus are the typical crocodile hisses. However, they are mixed with the sounds of large wild cats (such as cougar, leopard, lion, and tiger) and some walrus sounds to give it a more intimidating appearance.