Prehistoric crocodile comes ashore

Palaeontologists have announced the discovery of a 150 million-year-old skeleton of a marine crocodyliform - a unique find for Switzerland.

This content was published on November 24, 2008 - 21:11

Up until now, discoveries of the metriorhynchus have only been made in a handful of countries, including Britain, France, Germany, Argentina and Chile.

The skeleton was uncovered near the village of Courtedoux in the northwestern Jura mountains, a region already known for yielding numerous fossils, including remains of marine, littoral and terrestrial organisms.

Among the vertebrate finds are more than 4,000 dinosaur footprints.

The metriorhynchus lived in the oceans during the Middle to Late Jurassic period.

It was a carnivore and spent much, if not all, of its life at sea. It may have come ashore to lay its eggs like today's sea turtles.

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