Here it is: Are crocodiles considered to be descendants of dinosaurs or are they completely separate species? - Expert Opinion [UPDATED] !
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Are Crocodiles Dinosaurs?
Scientific evidence shows that crocodiles are descendants of the archosaurs, a group of reptiles that also includes the dinosaurs.
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- The evolutionary history of crocodiles:
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Crocodiles and dinosaurs have more similarities than you might think!
For starters, both creatures were around during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, meaning they shared the same environment and would have encountered each other.
Although crocodiles and dinosaurs are from different classes of animals, they are both reptiles, meaning they share some of the same physical characteristics such as, scaly skin and many of them have tails.
In terms of behavior, both kinds of animals have been known to be territorial, aggressive and extremely territorial. Both groups have seen them hunt and eat their prey in much the same way.
In addition, both groups of animals are surprisingly intelligent. Not only can they learn and retain new information, but they can also recognize individual humans - a trait that is quite rare among animals!
All in all, it's clear that crocodiles and dinosaurs have both physical and behavioral similarities that make them remarkably similar.
The evolutionary history of crocodiles:
Crocodiles have been around for over 200 million years and have evolved in a very adaptive and successful manner.
As one of the largest and oldest survivors of the dinosaur era, they remain an impressive apex predator, ruling the waterways of the world with an iron jaw.
They are an ancient species with ancestors that lived more than 60 million years ago. Early crocodiles were much more diverse than they are today, with more than 800 species inhabiting the rivers, lakes, and oceans of the world.
Interestingly enough, although they were once divided into four different family groups, two of those divisions have since gone extinct. Today, there are only two groups of crocodiles- the True Crocodiles and the Alligators, Caimans and Gharials.
True Crocodiles are larger in size than the Alligator and Caiman species and their teeth are more clearly visible when their gums are closed.
It's a wonder to watch these impressive reptiles in their natural habitat as they remain largely unchanged for millions of years!
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