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New species of Crocodile named after Tolkien creature

Researchers at the University of Florida have discovered a new 16-foot long (5 metres) ancient crocodile in the Amazon. The creature has been named Anthracosuchus balrogus.

The press release states:

The newly named reptile, which has an unusually blunt snout for species in the dyrosaurids family, lived alongside the 58-foot Titanoboa as portrayed in the Smithsonian Channel documentary on the ‘monster snake.’ Scientists assigned the species’ name, Anthracosuchus balrogus, in a study appearing online today in the journal Historical Biology. Unearthed from the same layer of rock as Titanoboa in theCerrejon coal mine of northern Colombia, the species is named for a ferocious fictional creature (the “Balrog”) that appeared in J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel “The Lord of the Rings” and dwelled deep in the middle-Earth “Mines of Moria.”

You can read the full story here.