Creature was an ambush predator that survived a mass extinction
However, as National Geographic pointed out, the study authors, whose work was supported by the National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration, plan to wait until they are able to find a more complete skeleton before they determine precisely how large the creature was.
The Machimosaurus rex remains were found buried below a few inches of sediment on the edge of the Sahara Desert, and while the size of the creature is noteworthy, paleontologists are just as excited, if not more, about when the creature is believed to have lived, as the group which it was a part of was thought to have died out in a mass extinction 145 million years ago.
As the researchers explained, the discovery of this new creature indicated that if there was indeed a mass extinction at the end of the Jurassic period, it did not kill off creatures everywhere—at least some members of the group known as the teleosaurids survived the event, as the newfound Machimosaurus rex specimen lived approximately 130 million years ago.
As for this massive, ancient crocodile, Fanti and his colleagues explained that it was probably an ambush hunter, using its powerful jaws and its round, short teeth to target several different types of prey, including large marine turtles. It had a “remarkable” bite force, thanks to the tremendous size of its skull, and likely waited in shallow water for its victims to come too close to the shore.