Valerie Varnuska is a longstanding Westbury, NY, resident who has a passion for vintage transportation, from cars to trains. Also interested in the prehistoric world, Valerie Varnuska has read extensively on paleoanthropology, paleoecology, and paleontology.
Recent research at the Natural History Museum of Milan focuses on the predatory crocodile Razanandrongobe sakalavae, which features powerful jaws set within a deep skull. Its serrated teeth were remarkably similar to the familiar Tyrannosaurus rex in both shape and size.
Living in today’s Madagascar during the Middle Jurassic epoch more than 160 million years ago, the Razanandrongobe sakalavae had erect limbs that today’s crocodilians lack. Its effectiveness as a predator placed it at the apex of the food chain, above even theropod dinosaurs. Separated from other species by water, the species evolved on its own and represents one of the earliest examples of “exacerbated body size increase” in an animal.