Giant Early-Human-Eating Horned Croc Fossils Found in Tanzania

Newly discovered fossil crocodile may have been largest predator humans ever encountered

A newly discovered 1.84 million-year-old giant Tanzanian horned crocodile species - aptly named Crocodylus anthropophagus, meaning man-eating crocodile - may have been the largest predator early humans ever encountered. Scientists found a partial skull of the fearsome reptile at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania in 2007. Fossil leg and foot bones (seen in the photo below) of at least two early humans from Olduvai bear crocodilian tooth marks, and came from about the same time as the newfound horned carnivore -- and within roughly 300 feet (100 meters) from where the croc's skeleton was discovered.

Image of OH 8, foot

Brochu, C.A., Njau, J., Blumenschine, R.J., Densmore, L.D., 2010. A new horned crocodile from the Plio-Pleistocene hominid sites at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. PLoS ONE 5(2), e9333.