Friday mystery object #280

Last week the answer to the mystery object was a Gharial – a very weird crocodilian from India. I realised that I didn’t know much about identifying the Crocodyliformes, so I thought it might be fun to have a go at working out what this species might be:


As always, I would love to hear your thoughts below and let’s see if we can find some good diagnostic features!

8 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #280

  1. At first the relatively short and broad skull made me think alligatorid, but its got the notchy-toothy business going on where the fourth tooth in the lower jaw fits in a notch in the upper jaw, and the skull is generally more V-shaped than U-shaped. So its definitely a crocodilid.

    So the relative shortness and broadness might be because its a juvenile. Although I think that would be a little unfair if you’re looking for pointers to get down to species level. So picking up on Cindy’s hint, I’m wondering if its an adult and there’s a bit of paedomorphosis in its evolutionary history.

  2. I’m with Alexandre on the group, though haven’t a clue about species. Thing is, I have noticed these crocodilians always seem to carry their heads higher rather than in line with their bodies like other crocodilians, so their necks, while not s-shaped, definitely have a bit of a bend in them. Consequently, I guess, the attachment point of skull to vertebrae would be more ventral, I think.

    In any case, the shape of the skull, including the slightly retrousse end to the snout is totally, in gestalt terms, a match for that particular group of crocodilians. I’d say the common variety if I had to guess.

    • Looked it up. Close but I am not sure the skull matches. The processes on the lower jaw, that connect to the neck…

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s