Speculative Biology Sunday: Camursuchus

13 Jun

Yes, so SBS* this week is another competition entry for the monthly competitions on the Speculative Evolution forums that I partake in, but oh well. I enjoy the competitions, and they help me come up with ideas that I probably wouldn’t have had otherwise.
This month competition was to come up with a descendant of a ThalattosuchianMetriorhynchid or Teleosurid set in the Cretaceous, which doesn’t leave much room for creativity, but oh well.
I have a few new concepts floating around in my head, so next week won’t be another competition entry like all my SBS posts have been since Gympie Crab.

*I only just realised that the acronym for Speculative Biology Sunday is SBS


Descendants of Pelagosuchus, these are one of the smallest marine crocodylimorphs in the cretaceous oceans, not usually exceeding 1.6 metres in length but can 2 in favourable conditions if they live long enough. Living exclusively in and around coral reefs, these crocodiles are mostly opportunists, feeding on whatever fish, crustaceans, molluscs and carrion. Specailising on plucking out fish and cephalopods from the very crags, crevices and caves which they themselves use to hide from larger predators, using their hooked snouts to get at particularly well hidden prey. They have also been seen digging up and swallowing brachiopods whole when under stress, seeming hopeful that their powerful stomach acid will cope with the hard calcium carbonate shells.
Mostly hiding amoung the reefs to avoid predators, they are also adorned with bony armour on their back, and will cling to the reefs to protect their relatively softer bellies, they also seem to be found to be quite distasteful to some predators, but these claims have not been substantiated.
Despite living their entire lives in the reefs, these crocodiles must return to dry land to lay their eggs and do so in much the same way that sea turtles do. So much so infact, that they do so in the very same beaches as sea turtles, and laying is timed so that their eggs hatch at the same time. This is for two reasons, the first is that there is less of a chance that they will get picked off by small dinosaurs, lizards or birds, and the second being that when they arrive in the water, they will have something to eat, as the hatchling camursuchus will kill and eat the hatchling turtles as soon as they reach the water.



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