It’s day 7 of November Knowledge with cool croc facts, and seeing as its throwback Thursday we’re going all the way back to the Cretaceous period to check out Stomatosuchus Inermis which translates to “weaponless mouth crocodile”.
I find the immense variety of prehistoric crocodyliforms fascinating, but this is a particularly interesting relative of today’s crocodilians.
Not much is known about Stomatosuchus, but its method of hunting is thought to be rather different from any other type of crocodyliform.
They had small conical teeth on the upper jaw, and the suggestion being no teeth on the lower jaw with a pelican type of pouch underneath. What they ate is uncertain, but the theory is they ate fish by sucking in water with their throat muscles when prey was passing, they would then close their mouth and squeeze the “pelican pouch” to force the water back out. The teeth on the upper jaw would trap the fish inside the mouth and stop them escaping back out with the water.
Of course this is just theory. Unfortunately it’s impossible to study the ancient creature with modern techniques as the only known fossil to have been found was just a single skull which was destroyed in 1944 during bombing raid on Munich.