Over 66-million-year-old crocodile fossil found in China

  • PTI

    PTI | Beijing

    June 9, 2017 | 01:03 PM
Fossils, Crocodile, Bones, Dinosaurs

Representational Image (PHOTO: Getty Images)

Fossils of a completely preserved crocodile and bones belonging to at least six different dinosaurs, dating back 145 to 66 million years, have been unearthed in northeast China.

Paleontologists from Chinese Academy of Sciences began the excavation in late May, following the discovery of dinosaur fossils last year at Longshan Mountain in the city of Yanji in Jilin Province.

A 1.5-meter-long crocodile fossil was found on June 1, researchers said.

The fossil was well preserved from head to tail, with clear skin, which is quite rare among Cretaceous strata findings in China, they said.

"Crocodiles and dinosaurs lived together, which means there are probably more fossils buried underneath," said Jin Changzhu, a research fellow at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology.

Archaeologists also found a large amount of teeth, arm, pelvis and rib bones belonging to at least six different dinosaurs, most of which were in good condition, Xinhua reported.

Yanji has been identified as the easternmost site of Cretaceous dinosaur fossils in China, said Sun Ge, curator of Paleontological Museum of Liaoning.

Cretaceous turtle fossils and petrified wood were also unearthed.

The recent findings have enriched the understanding and research of its fossil resources, Ge added.