Crocodiles, alligators, caiman, etc are all members of the order Crocodilia (crocodilians). They are all lizard like reptiles characterized by low slung bodies with a splayed stance, non overlapping scales, long flattened snout with conical teeth, and a heavy tail.
The first ancestors of Alligators appear about 250 million years ago.
When Did Crocodilians Go Extinct?
Crocodilians have not gone extinct. In fact, modern crocodilians have changed very little in 50 million years. Some species, Sarcosuchus, Deinosuchus, etc have died out but as a whole the Order has done very well throughout its time. It even survived the K-T extinction that killed off the dinosaurs.
What Did Early Crocodilians Look Like?
Early Crocodilians looked very much like modern Crocodiles and Alligators. The species that are extinct now, looked alike modern species as well. The biggest difference was size. Sarcosuchus (110 million years ago) was the largest know Crocodilian. It was about 40 (11-12m) feet long. Most Crocodilian were about the same size as modern species. All crocodilian have the same characteristics, tubular bodies, splayed stance, long flat snouts, conical teeth. Alligators and Caiman have shorter broader snouts, while Gharial and False Gharial have longer thinner snouts. Crocodiles have longer, more pointed snouts than alligators and shorter, wider snouts than gharial and false gharial.
Are Crocodilia And Phytosaurs Related?
Crocodilia and Phytosaurs are not related. They are an example of convergent evolution, where two groups evolve similar characteristics in response to environmental conditions but have no common ancestor.
Washington state has now joined over a dozen other states to put in place “shelter in place” or “stay at home” orders. While we agree this is the correct course of action, it will have a substantial impact on our business. It effectively shuts down much of our company for several weeks.
We will continue taking orders on our website and we will have a single staff member at our warehouse to facilitate shipping of these new orders. Depending on the order volume this may mean that we do experience some shipping delays, particularly with large or fragile items that require more packaging time.
These shutdowns are particularly devastating to all small businesses who don’t have significant cash reserves and rely on constant cash flow to pay their fixed expenses (payroll, rent, loan payments, etc) We hope that you will continue to support us and satisfy your fossil fix during these trying times.