Menu

“Carolina Butcher” Prowled Triassic North America

Researchers find the oldest and largest crocodile relative yet discovered.

Mar 20, 2015
Bob Grant

An artist's reconstruction of Carnufex carolinensisCOPYRIGHT JORGE GONZALESA nine-foot-long monster stalked the Carolinas more than 230 million years ago. Carnufex carolinensis, which translates to “Carolina butcher,” walked on its hind legs and had a fearsome jaw packed with teeth, according to researchers who described fossils pulled from a North Carolina quarry in a Scientific Reports paper published yesterday (March 19). The late-Triassic bones were unearthed a decade ago and sat at the North Carolina Museum of Natural History ever since. “When we got the bones out and prepared them, we found out that it was actually a really cool species,” Lindsay Zanno, North Carolina State University researcher and lead author of the paper, told The Washington Post. “It was one of the oldest and largest members of crocodylomorph—the same group that crocodiles belong to—that we've ever seen. And that size was really surprising.”

The find rewrites the history of animals that are ancestral to modern crocodiles. “It pushes back the date of crocodylomorphs in the fossil record,” Daniel Mulcahy, a researcher at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, told Smithsonian. “And because of its size, presumed diet, and body shape, [Carnufex] changes our thinking on what these early crocodiles looked like and what they did.”

Along with a host of other predators, C. carolinensis likely went extinct at the end of the Triassic, about 200 million years ago.

February 2019

Big Storms Brewing

Can forests weather more major hurricanes?

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global leader of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced that its QXDx AutoDG ddPCR System, which uses Bio-Rad’s Droplet Digital PCR technology, and the QXDx BCR-ABL %IS Kit are the industry’s first digital PCR products to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance. Used together, Bio-Rad’s system and kit can precisely and reproducibly monitor molecular response to treatment in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) today showcases new automation features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer during the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening 2019 International Conference and Exhibition (SLAS) in Washington, D.C., February 2–6. These capabilities enable the ZE5 to be used for high-throughput flow cytometry in biomarker discovery and phenotypic screening.
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Researchers to benefit from an innovative software-connected pipetting system, bringing improved reproducibility and traceability of experiments to life-science laboratories.
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) will showcase advanced 3D cell culture technologies and workflow solutions for spheroids, organoids, tissue models, and applications including ADME/toxicology at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) conference, Feb. 2-6 in Washington, D.C.