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Fossil Roundup

December 9, 2005

Dinosaur lovers: It’s time to move on from T-rex. A prehistoric Godzilla has been found, and he sounds nasty.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
A fearsome fossil. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Godzilla is the nickname for a 135-million-year-old sea creature unearthed in Argentina and reported in the journal Science. Somewhat like a crocodile, Godzilla measured 13 feet and had fins instead of legs. Its blunt snout and four-inch-long teeth suggest it fed on other large sea creatures. Scientists were surprised by the find because all other known ancient marine crocodile species had slender snouts and ate only fish and shellfish.

In other fossil news, some dinosaurs grazed on grass. A team discovered tiny bits of grass cells in 65-million-year-old dinosaur dung. Before now, scientists had supposed that grasses were rare when dinosaurs were alive, which is why most museums and textbooks depict plant-eating dinosaurs eating ferns and conifers.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.