December 11, 2023

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Science – Dunkendorf – Like dolphins: primitive crocodiles have smooth skin – Bavaria

Flag – Dunkendorf:Like dolphins: primitive crocodiles have smooth skin

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Dunkendorf (dpa) – According to a study, some prehistoric crocodiles did not have rough armor, but very smooth skin. “These reptiles must have felt like dolphins today, taut and supple,” explained study leader Fredrik Spindler of the Altmoltal Dinosaur Museum in Denkendorf. Cretaceous and Jurassic reptiles would have been perfectly adapted to life in the sea and would have lost their scales over millions of years.

Researchers from Germany and the United States examined several fossils from Bavaria that were about 150 million years old. Under normal light and ultraviolet light, they realized that extinct sea crocodiles (metriorhynchids) were completely smooth and scaleless—and thus far removed from the land-dwelling ancestors of land-dwelling crocodiles with their bony scales and armor. It is already known that other prehistoric marine creatures had particularly smooth skin. Some turtles also have a leathery structure that makes it easy for them to move around in the water.

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