Discovery of 13-million-year-old croc suggests parallel evolution of ‘telescoping’ eyes
Gryposuchus pachakamue mandible in the field. Credit: D. De Francesci
Fossils of a 13-million-year-old extinct crocodilian from the Peruvian Amazon suggest that South American and Indian species evolved separately to acquire protruding, “telescoped” eyes that helped the animals conceal their bodies underwater while scanning the river’s edge. The new study, published today in the journal PLOS ONE, provides a long-sought insight about the extremely long and slender-snouted gavialoids—one of the three major types of crocodilians, along with alligators and crocodiles—that are represented today by just one living species, the Indian gharial.
Some more cold-blooded critters. Mostly crocodilian but other cuties as well: