'SuperCroc' skull arrives at Tyrrell museum
Alberta's Royal Tyrrell Museum will be exhibiting a cast of a massive prehistoric crocodile skull this spring as part of an exhibit honouring Charles Darwin.
The skull is 1.7 metres long and belonged to a sarcosuchus, nicknamed SuperCroc, that would have been more than 10 metres long, about the same size as a Tyrannosaurus rex.
The original skull was dug up nine years ago in Niger and is currently touring, said curator François Therrien.
"The Tyrrell will be the only museum in Canada to have a cast of the skull of that giant crocodile and in the United States there is just a handful of museums that actually own a cast," he said. "We expect it's going to be a big deal."
The Drumheller-based museum purchased the cast to include in an exhibit on fossils marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species.
"It shows, actually, that there are several times during Earth's history when crocodiles got extremely big 110 million years ago," Therrien said. "But only 67 or 70 million ago here in North America we also had giant crocodiles the same size of T-Rex. So it shows that through evolution you have similar body shapes that evolved independently on different continents and from different animals."