Monster crocs reigned as king of the swamps 112 million years ago
WHAT: “Super Crocs: Terrors of the Cretaceous Swap”
WHERE: Dinosaur Journey
550 Jurassic Ct., Fruita
WHEN: May 24 through Sept. 8
COST: $8.50/adults, $6.50/seniors, $5.25/children (3 - 12) or $24.50/family group
Dinosaur Journey in Fruita has a freaky, fun new exhibit set to launch Friday, May 24. Called the “Super Crocs: Terrors of the Cretaceous Swamp,” this temporary display will showcase “two big crocodilians,” said John Foster, curator of paleontology for Dinosaur Journey.
“The life-size reconstruction of Sarcosuchus and a newly constructed cast of a Deinosuchus from Utah” will be shown through Sept. 8, a news release noted.
This display is particularly applicable to Fruita’s popular dinosaur museum because the Grand Valley is home to a diverse (and numerous) array of ancient fossils, including those of Sarcosuchus and Deinosuchus.
“There are crocs known from the Fruita paleo-area to Rabbit Valley, up by Collbran and over by Rifle,” Foster said. “There are quite a lot right around here. That’s really neat because crocs of olden days were no more cold tolerant than today. It indicates it was a lot warmer back then. Northern Canada has croc fossils, too, Things were rather tropical for a wider range of latitude.”
According to Foster, the Deinosuchus looks like a gigantic alligator, with a “stout head. Body wise, Sarcosuchus (also known as SuperCroc) looks like a much larger crocodile, though its snout is a bit different.
“It has a strange shape,” he said. “The snout narrows, than flairs out by the nose. The narrow bridge is all teeth.”
“As it says in the National Geographic film that chronicles the experience, this creature didn’t walk with the dinosaurs; it ate them,” a news release noted. “It was a 10-ton, 40-foot lean and mean hunter!”
Fossils on display at Dinosaur Museum next week span 125 to 80 million years ago. Other attractions part of the display include skulls and jawbones, along with other fossil findings.
“Come and get up close and personal with these beasts and discover the world they lived in,” said Museum of Western Colorado Assistant Director Kay Fiegel.
For more information, visit http://www.museumofwesternco.org.
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