Amazon Discovery: Giant 13-million-year-old crocodile fossils discovered in Amazonia

Amazon Discovery: A group of palaeontologists from Peru and Argentina a fossil discovered in the Amazon which reveals details of a 13-million-year-old bite wound.

They explained that the fossils are the remains of a giant sloth with 46 marks from an attack by the largest land predator after the extinction of the dinosaurs, a huge alligatoroid crocodilian known as Purussaurus.

Scientists are closely investigating this case because “for a long time it was considered that there were no fossils in the Amazon”.

Palaeontologist François Pujos, from the Argentine Institute of Nivology, Glaciology and Environmental Sciences in Mendoza, Argentina, explained during an interview with the Sinc agency that in mid-2004 a team of specialists travelled through Ecuador from the city of Coca to Iquitos, in the northeast of Peru, in search of fossils. It was there where they found a fractured tibia that was transferred to the Museum of Natural History in Lima, a loose bone that at first did not seem to have much importance.

Therefore, the fossil was forgotten in a corner of that building in the Peruvian capital. Wrapped in layers of cloth soaked in water and plaster, the bone was kept for a decade until recently when a museum technician found it and decided to study it.

At that moment the palaeontologist discovered strange cuts and discovered that in his hand he had the remains of the left leg of a sloth with 46 teeth marks of one of the largest alligators that lived on Earth.

“The finding is quite rare,” explains François Pujos, who details that “none of the thousands of mammal specimen remains found in the Amazon exhibit marks of this type.

According to experts, the animal lived in South America approximately 13 million years ago, during the Miocene. Fossil fragments of Purussaurus have been discovered in countries such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia as well as in Venezuela since the 19th century, but there is still much that is not known about this extinct species.

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