New fossil find in southwestern Tanzania


(eTN) – New skeleton remains were found in the southwest of Tanzania in a recent dig, which unearthed a creature with similarities to both ancient crocodiles, as well as cat-like features.

The Pakasuchus kapilimai had an armoured body like a crocodile but also cat-like features like canine teeth, slender limbs, and a flexible backbone. Pakasuchus means “cat crocodile” (paka meaning “cat” in Kiswahili) in reference to its cat-like appearance and probable behavior.

A team from several Ohio-based universities was on site and assisted by scientists from both South Africa and Tanzania, and they have now revealed details of this creature, thought to be 100 million years old when this part of Africa apparently supported different reptiles and animals no longer found today.

Information sent to this correspondent from Arusha also speaks about the teeth found being of an unusual shape, compared with normal crocodiles.

This latest find underscored Tanzania’s standing for prehistoric finds, of both early man, as well as the creatures which roamed the region in those long-gone days.