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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 August 2007, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Prehistoric crocodile unearthed
The skull of a prehistoric crocodile
The prehistoric crocodile would have roamed the earth with dinosaurs
The skull of a 130 million-year-old crocodile unearthed along the Dorset coast has gone on display.

Richard Edmonds was walking along the Swanage coastline when he found the 2ft (60cm) skull poking out of a rock.

A cliff fall along the World Heritage Jurassic Coast exposed the prehistoric predator in March.

The crocodile, or goniopholis, would have roamed the earth with dinosaurs. Its skull will be displayed at the Swanage Museum and Heritage Centre.

The crocodile skull really is the find of a lifetime
Richard Edmonds

Mr Edmonds, earth science manager for the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site team, said: "It's only the second crocodile skull to be found in the area in the last 30 years.

"It was obviously a real piece of luck to find something like that.

"The crocodile skull really is the find of a lifetime."

Mr Edmonds had a two-week wait to get permission to excavate the skull from the landowner and Natural England, as the area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The skull will later be sent for examination by experts from Bristol University and the Natural History Museum.

If they decide it is an important find it will be donated to a registered museum.


SEE ALSO
Golden age of dino finds forecast
29 Mar 07 |  Science/Nature
Tracks suggest dinos could swim
24 May 07 |  Science/Nature

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