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Dinosaur Fossil. pixabay

Researchers have found a “missing link” from a 180 million-year-old fossil that sheds light on how some ancient crocodiles evolved into dolphin-like animals.

The fossil named Magyarosuchus fitosi in honour of the amateur collector who discovered it, Attila Fitos, was unearthed on a mountain range in north-west Hungary in 1996 and stored in a museum in Budapest.


The species featuring a large portion of backbone is nearly five metres long and had large, pointed teeth for grasping prey. It was one of the largest coastal predators of the Jurassic Period.


Dinosaur Fossil. pixabay

It also shares key body features seen in two distinct families of prehistoric crocodiles.

Besides being heavily armoured, the species also had a tail fin, suggesting it is a missing link in the family tree of crocodiles, the researchers noted, in the paper published in the journal PeerJ.

“This fossil provides a unique insight into how crocodiles began evolving into dolphin and killer whale-like forms more than 180 million years ago,” said Mark Young, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences in Britain.

“The presence of both bony armour and a tail fin highlights the remarkable diversity of Jurassic-era crocodiles.”


Crocodile, representational image. pixabay

The specimen was identified as a new species based on the discovery of an odd-looking vertebra that formed part of its tail fin.

Also Read: Baby Turtle Turns Into a Male, Adding Fresh Dimensions to Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination Theory

Some Jurassic-era crocodiles had bony armour on their backs and bellies and limbs adapted for walking on land. Another group had tail fins and flippers but did not have armour, the researchers said. (IANS)


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Rihanna was summoned from her seat to accept the honour, with the Prime Minister.

Singer Rihanna was honoured by Prime Minister Mia Mottley at an event which marked Barbados's new status as a republic, which was attended by Prince Charles. Addressing the pop star by her real name, the PM said: "Robyn Rihanna Fenty tomorrow morning shall have conferred upon her the order of national hero of Barbados."

Rihanna was then summoned from her seat to accept the honor, with the Prime Minister managing to rouse a laugh from the singer when she referenced her 2012 hit 'Diamonds', reports femalefirst.co.uk. She added: "On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you, the designee, for the national hero of Barbados." "And to accept on behalf of a grateful nation - you can come my dear - ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty, may you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation." Rihanna, who was born in the St Michael parish of Barbados, found fame in 2005 after being spotted by a record producer and has since gone on to become one of the most successful female artists of all time with sales of over 250 million and recently reached billionaire status through her Fenty beauty brand.

The Prime Minister continued in her speech: "Commanding the imagination of the world through the pursuit of excellence, her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth. "Having satisfied that, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty has given service to Barbados which has been exemplified by visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement and the attaining of the highest excellence to the Government of Barbados." It comes after a historic move for Barbados, which has become a republic after almost 400 years and welcomes its first president, Sandra Mason, after removing Queen Elizabeth as head of state. (IANS/ MBI)


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