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…

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