The Isisford Crocodile


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The Isisford Crocodile

On June 14, 2006, the discovery announcement of Isisfordia duncani was released to media outlets across Australia. As the world’s most comprehensive fossil evidence of Earth’s first modern crocodiles, this ancient little reptile has a fascinating story to tell. This story, however, begins 95 million years after the main event; the death of two small crocodiles near what is now a tiny outback town called Isisford.

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

The first time I saw what we came to know as the Isisford Crocodile was in the office of Dr Ralph Molnar at the Queensland Museum in February, 1997. Ralph was then Senior Curator of Vertebrate Fossils at the museum and I was employed as his Technical Assistant. Ralph showed me a block of sandstone that had split lengthwise to reveal some very interesting and well preserved bones which he identified as belly armour from a small freshwater crocodile. The fossil was of particular interest to Ralph as it was the first and oldest freshwater crocodile to be found anywhere in Australia. It was dated at around 95 million years old and was from the terrestrial sediments of the Winton Formation. Ralph knew it would almost definitely represent a new species and quite possibly even a new genus.

AAOD Journal Issue 5 (2007) – pages 37 to 43
By Joanne Wilkinson 

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