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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 giant prehistoric crocodilian, related to alligators, that originated during the Late Cretaceous period in what is now North America and is notorious for preying on large dinosaurs. It then died out at the end of the K/T mass extinction event. 

Because of its size and power, Deinosuchus was the top predator of its environment, and most commonly preyed on herbivorous dinosaurs such as Parasaurolophus. It grew up to 15 meters in length and weighed up to 9 tons in weight, making it the largest crocodilian that has ever lived on Earth, larger than Sarcosuchus in size. 

Deinosuchus lurked in the rivers and seas, waiting for big prey to come, but it would also attack smaller creatures. Its prey included Parasaurolophus and its competitor is the theropod dinosaur Albertosaurus, which it could easily fight off to scavenge already–dead animals.

FactsEdit

Era & DiscoveryEdit

Deinosuchus lived during the Late Cretaceous period from 85–65 million years ago, living up until the end of the Cretaceous period and dying out with the dinosaurs. They were among the apex predators of their ecosystem, rivaled only by the tyrannosaurs, like Albertosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex.

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.

Physical AttributesEdit

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Deinosuchus were immensely large creatures and their physiology was identical to modern day crocodilians, only they were much larger. Measuring 50 feet (15 m) in length and weighing more than 9 tons (18,000 lbs.), as much as a double–decker buss, Deinosuchus was, without a doubt, 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, and was also one of the largest predators that ever lived on planet Earth. These crocodiles were so huge, they hunted and fed on dinosaurs.

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 stronger than 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, but maintaining this growth over a much longer period of time.

Behavior & TraitsEdit

DeinosuchusPortrait

Deinosuchus group

Deniosuchus behaved similarly to other crocodilians. It would hunt 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 made forays into 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 crocodilian, 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 cease the opportunity to hunt members of the herd. It would burst to the surface and drag down their prey.

Journal EntryEdit

If one was under the belief that the Australian Saltwater Crocodile was the largest and most dangerous of the crocodilians, they'd be sadly mistaken. Famous for being known as the "Giant Crocodile", Deinosuchus (or "Terrible Crocodile") was interestingly discovered to be related to Alligators rather than Crocodiles.

Nevertheless, Deinosuchus was literately the largest crocodilian that has ever lived. Measuring 50 ft. 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 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

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Deinosuchus is the last and largest species of prehistoric crocodilian in the park.
  • 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 tiger, leopard, cougar, and lion) to give it a more monstrous appearance.