dinosaur museum

Champsosaurus laramiensis

Pronounced (CHAMP-SO-SORE-US LAR-A-MI-EN-SIS)

Nickname: “Champy”
Discovered By: Jeff Barlett, 1998
Discovery Location: Harding County, South Dakota
Diet: Meat Eater (Carnivore)
Period: Late Cretaceous
Age: 66 million years
Formation: Hell Creek
Length: 5 ft
Location of Original Specimen: Fukui Prefectoral Museum, Japan

Champsosaurus was a small to medium crocodile-like animal that lived in the lakes, rivers and streams of the dinosaurs’ world. It was a distant cousin of modern day crocodiles, differing in many skeletal features. The most unusual differences of note include a single opening for the nostrils, extremely narrow snout and an enlarged posterior portion of the skull.

Champsosaurus preyed predominantly on fish, based upon the numerous needle-like teeth in its snout. It probably spent most of its time underwater, occasionally coming up for air, with just the tip of its snout poking out. It shared its aquatic domain with other crocodile and alligator ancestors, and inhabited a niche very similar to the modern day gharial of Asia.


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