Friday, December 31, 2010

Croc Update (Kitchen Counter Edition)

New Prehistoric Crocodile Found in "Kitchen Counters": "Fossils of a new species of ancient crocodile cousin have been found in limestone once destined for Italian kitchen countertops, a new study says.

The fossils were originally discovered in a limestone quarry in Ferrara, Italy, in 1955 after workers sliced a huge block into four slabs and found the bones trapped inside.

'When the owner noticed the bones, he decided to save' the slabs, said study co-author Federico Fanti, a geologist at the Museo Geologico Giovanni Capellini in Italy.

Scientists performed only a cursory examination of the fossils—enough to determine that they belonged to an ancient crocodile—before the slabs were transferred to two museums in Italy.

The fossils sat unstudied until 2009, when scientists decided to examine them again in more detail."

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