A giant skull of Prehistoric Crocodile? (PHOTO) Find Out the Truth…

International Misleading

Discovery of fossil evidence of mammoth prehistoric creatures, said to have graced the Earth lived millions of years ago, always stir up the interest among the public. 

However, some social media claims based on those prehistoric, extinct creatures tend to be false and misleading. This is our investigation related with such misleading social media claim regarding a giant crocodile!

Social Media Posts:

Facebook user posted an image depicting a man, standing near a skull appearing to be of a giant crocodile along with the below narration.

“The skull of a Purussaurus, one of the biggest crocodiles to have ever lived

  • Interesting info on Purussaurus:

It was about 35 feet long – twice as long as a saltwater crocodile and it weighed around 3 tons, making it about twice as heavy as one as well. It had a large tail which it could swat animals with and had loads of razor-sharp teeth in its 5-foot-long skull. It not only looked like a larger version of modern crocodiles, but it also probably moved as fast as one. It has been estimated that Purussaurus probably could have moved at a speed of about 16 miles per hour in the water”

Facebook | Archived

These posts were viral among Facebook users around the world.

Due to the curious nature and virality of these posts, we decided to do a fact check on this.

Fact Check

First, we did Google Reverse Image Search and were able to find an image with a similar background, but without the man standing behind the skull, which appears on the viral posts.

The original image is an artwork / model created by Crawley- Creatures company, a company specified for creative arts, natural history etc. The artwork of the skull can be found on their website from here with the description “Deinosuchus skull”  Archived.

An image comparison between two photos can be seen below.

So it’s evident that Crawley company had created this skull resembling a prehistoric Deinosuchus, as mentioned in their website, and not as that of Purussaurus crocodile, as claimed in viral claims.

More on Deinosuchus !

Deinosuchus, is an extinct genus of alligatoroid crocodilian, related to modern alligators and caimans  and they are said to have lived around 82 to 73 million years ago. Their fossils were first found from North Carolina (USA)  

These creatures were believed to be big predators, growing up tp0 35 feet and could have even preyed on some dinosaurs. However their diet is believed to be comprised on sea turtles and other aquatic beings. More details on these creatures can be taken from hereArchived.

While commenting to AFP, Gez Gibson, the director of Crawley company confirmed that they created this skull before 2009 for the TV series, Prehistoric Park. The related AFP article can be read from here. Archived.

Hence, it`s clear that the skull claiming to be of a giant prehistoric crocodile is a creation of Crawley company for a TV series.  

Who are Purussaurus crocodiles?

Since the social media posts mentioned about Purussaurus crocodiles, we decided to look into some facts regarding these prehistoric giants as well. They are said to be one of the last giant, extinct  crocodilians, which lived around 8 million years ago. Their fossils have been found in the South American continent. These giant crocodiles were capable of tackling large prey and is also noted by its sheer; immense bite force and size. Many details about them can be taken from here. Archived.

Here is another article with details on Purussaurus, Deinosuchus and a few other giant prehistoric crocodiles. Looking at these details also, its evident that the social media narration is actually more in line with that of Deinosuchus, as compared to Purussaurus, in terms of size as well as speed and agility.

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According to our investigation, we were able to find out that the skull show in viral social media posts is not a real skull found by paleontologists, but an artwork model created by Crawley Creatures Company, UK for the TV series, Prehistoric Park.

Furthermore, the skull does not depict a giant Purussaurus crocodilian either, however, it was modelled to depict another extinct alligatoroid crocodilian species, Deinosuchus.


Title:A giant skull of Prehistoric Crocodile? (PHOTO) Find Out the Truth…

Fact Check By: Kalana Krishantha 

Result: Misleading

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