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He discovered our ancestral encounters with crocodiles while studying how the powerful predators evolved on southern continents over the past 20 million years.
Anthropologists had previously found crocodile bite marks on hominid bones from Olduvai dating back about two million years.
anthropophagus, and none that is complete, so it’s impossible to determine its precise relationship to modern Nile crocodiles or when the man-eaters went extinct, Brochu says. anthropophagus threatened the ancient hominids who called Olduvai gorge home and would have been drawn to a nearby source of fresh water.
Our ancestors had good reason to be wary of going near the water, at least at two key African sites known for their hominid fossils.
The australopithecines who lived in the area were smaller than the Olduvai hominids (see image, left), so they would have had less chance against the predators.
Though roughly the same size as the reptilian denizens of the Nile, the Olduvai crocodiles had thinner, more flared snouts and large horns that are more characteristic of a Madagascan crocodile that went extinct in the past few thousand years. anthropophagus points to far more diversity in African crocodiles in the past 2.5 million years than thought, Brochu says.At both the Olduvai Gorge site in Kenya and the Koobi Fora site in Kenya, early humans shared the land with large crocodiles, and hominid bones from Olduvai show the marks of crocodile teeth.Crocodile specialist Christopher Brochu of the University of Iowa reported the findings on Thursday at the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in Cleveland.Whitmore’s former lab assistant in 1953, reports E! The final season of the Lifetime dramedy premieres March 23 at 9/8c. RELATED | Cable Renewal Scorecard: What’s Cancelled?