New research argues that ancient crocodile species may have copied some of the traits possessed by whales and dolphins which were present in the Jurassic seas.
The extinct species is classified under the name of Thalattosuchia. It abandoned its land-living ancestors in a bit to become a masterful aquatic predator. The limbs morphed into flippers, and their bodies harnessed a new design and a fluked tail that boosted their ability to move through the water.
According to the experts who conducted the research, their inner ear, which is responsible for balance and equilibrium, changed as they embraced their new environment. Researchers have analyzed complex CAT scans of more than 12 fossil skulls as they wanted to learn more about the vestibular system of the inner year.
Common traits between the ancient crocodile ancestor and dolphins and whales
When the species reached the start of a semi-aquatic stage, their ear canals started to become fatter and smaller, a process that reduced the overall sensibility and improved their ability to swim, with similar shapes having been observed in the case of dolphins and whales.
The altered shape is optimized for life in the water where buoyancy holds an animal in comparison to the various forms of land which require a keen sense of gravity. According to the lead researcher for the study, data related to sensory organs in the vein of the inner year is needed to better understand the way in which ancient animals used to live.
Scientists from all over the world continue to remain fascinated by marine life and ancient fossils as they harbor many interesting traits and secrets. Despite recent efforts, it still thought that more is known about the moon in comparison to the bottom of oceans as the dire environmental conditions complicate any attempts to study them, and expensive tools are required. More data about the ancient crocodiles can be found in a scientific journal.