Have you ever seen a 20,000-pound crocodile or piano-sized fish at the zoo? Probably not. These prehistoric beasts, including the “ShieldCroc” and “Old Four Legs,” lived one hundred million years ago.
The Aegisuchus, or “SheildCroc,” roamed the murky waters of a North African river one hundred million years ago. This crocodile-like predator gained the nickname “SheildCroc” because the shape of its head resembled the shape of a shield.
The Aegisuchus was huge, measuring 30 feet long and 20,000 pounds on average. That’s twice the size of some of today’s largest crocodiles! To feed itself, the Aegisuchus would wait on the edge of an aquatic surface to snatch large fish passing by, such as the Coelacanth.
The Coelacanth, or “Old Four Legs,” swam in the rivers of North Africa nearly 70,000 years ago. Although not as big as the Aegisuchus, the Coelacanth was still deadly. Roughly the size of a piano, it preyed upon other, smaller fish in its environment. It inhabited depths up to 2,300 feet.
The average life span of a Coelacanth was up to 60 years. Some scientists thought they went extinct 70 million years ago but, in 1938, a descendent of the fish was caught in South Africa. This event indicated to scientists that the DNA of this creature has not completely disappeared. So, if you ever find yourself in a prehistoric zoo, look out for a 20,000 pound Aegisuchus or a piano-sized Coelacanth!
[Source: National Geographic]