One of many scientists to explain Lemmysuchus proposed that it’s named for Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister.
Credit score: Copyright Mark Witton/Trustees of the Pure Historical past Museum, London (left); DFP Photographic/Shutterstock (proper)
Motörhead founder, singer and bassist Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, who died on Dec. 28, 2015, famously sang, “I do not need to stay eternally,” within the band’s signature tune, “Ace of Spades.” Although Kilmister is gone, scientists have ensured his title will stay on — maybe eternally — as a part of the scientific title of a species of Jurassic crocodile relative.
Lemmysuchus obtusidens — that means “Lemmy’s blunt-toothed crocodile” — belonged to an extinct group of marine crocs often known as teleosaurs. It lived roughly 164 million years in the past in coastal waters close to what’s now Europe, and it measured about 19 ft (6 meters) in size and had a cranium that was about three ft (1 m) lengthy, in response to an outline in a brand new examine.
Lemmysuchus had highly effective jaws and flattened tooth that might crunch by way of the shells of its mollusk or turtle prey, and it might have been among the many largest coastal predators on the time, examine co-author Michela Johnson, a researcher with the College of GeoSciences on the College of Edinburgh in Scotland, mentioned in a press release. [Photos: Ancient Crocodile Relatives Roamed the Amazon]
A near-complete fossil skeleton present in Peterborough, England, in 1909, a part of the paleontology assortment on the Pure Historical past Museum (NHM) in London, was beforehand recognized as Steneosaurus obtusidens, based mostly on similarities to different identified S. obtusidens fossils.
However sure options diverged from S. obtusidens, prompting the scientists to query whether or not it had been precisely described, and so they proposed revisiting its classification, together with that of a number of different associated fossils.
Lemmysuchus diverges most dramatically from its shut kin within the form of its snout, in response to the examine. Although its nostril was slender in contrast with that of a contemporary crocodile, it was shorter and rounder than was typical of teleosaurs from this time within the Jurassic. The nasal floor was “strongly convex,” and the snout made up about 62 % of the general cranium size, the examine authors reported.
The examine authors decided that the fossil represented a brand new genus, naming it after Kilmister on the suggestion of examine co-author Lorna Metal, a curator at NHM within the earth sciences division, NHM representatives mentioned within the assertion.
“We might wish to assume that he would have raised a glass to Lemmysuchus, one of many nastiest sea creatures to have ever inhabited the Earth,” Metal mentioned.
The findings have been printed on-line Aug. 7 within the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.
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