Crocodyliform fossil

Crocodyliform fossil

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Credit: CHRIS HELLIER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Crocodyliform fossil. This extinct reptile, Dyrosaurus phosphaticus, was one of several crocodile-like animals that were the ancestors of today's crocodiles and alligators. This one was similar to the modern gharial, and hunted fish. Dryosaurus fossils date from the Eocene (56 to 34 million years ago) and are found in North Africa. Fossils appear as rock slowly forms around objects buried in mud. As the rock forms, the shape and anatomy of buried animals and plants can be preserved. This fossil was found in Khouribga, Morocco.

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