(Image source from: Crocodile or Dinosaurs- Who came first?})
It is believed that Dinosaurs were the first to rule on earth, but scientists’ excavations have something different to say. Crocodile were the first who ruled the swampy ecosystem 13 million years ago in Peru, as per the new discovery by scientists. In a series of excavation conducted since 2002, scientists have uncovered the fossils of crocodile from a rock layer known as the Pebas Formation in north-east of Peru. The excavation has also resulted in discovery of 3 species which are entirely new to the science.
The most unusual discovery was Gnatusuchus pebasensis, a short-faced caiman with "globular teeth" which is thought to have used its snout as a shovel to dig for clams and other mollusks.
Gnatusuchus and other "clam-crunching" crocs disappeared as the mega-wetlands transformed into the modern Amazon and mollusk numbers and diversity declined.
Researcher Rodolfo Salas-Gismondi, from the University of Montpellier in France, said: "When we analysed Gnatusuchus bones and realised that it was probably a head-burrowing and shovelling caiman preying on mollusks living in muddy river and swamp bottoms, we knew it was a milestone for understanding proto-Amazonian wetland feeding dynamics."
The team also found the first clear fossil representative of modern smooth-fronted caimans which was adapted to catching a variety of prey including fish.