The headline in Thursday's newspaper said: Prehistoric crocodile discovered in Chatham County. It was just a little misleading. We’ve seen pictures of alligators and crocodiles discovered in backyards as far north as eastern North Carolina. The creatures were captured in photos or in videos crossing highways and other roads, lurking in lakes, ponds and tributaries. We’ve seen alligators and crocodiles captured by wildlife officers and good-old-boys out for a good time.
So, when we read the headline, Prehistoric crocodile discovered in Chatham County, we were anxious to look at photos and watch the videos, but all we received was a depiction—an artist rendering—of a prehistoric crocodile named Carnufex carolinesis (Carolina butcher) by paleontologist Lindsay Zanno, research professor at NC State University who found the dang thing.
It was nine feet long and about 231 million years old. It survived by eating reptiles and mammals and because Chatham County, 231 million years ago, was supposedly at the earth’s equator therefore warm and humid. Wow! Lots of information. Reading the headline, Prehistoric crocodile discovered in Chatham County, made one wonder if the Carolina butcher (also a good nickname for Dan Kane, staff writer for The News & Observer) spoke English to communicate this information to the discoverer.
As it turns out a prehistoric crocodile was NOT discovered in Chatham County; the remains—some bones, a skull, the spine—thereof were. The headline, Prehistoric crocodile discovered in Chatham County and which might had said Remains of prehistoric crocodile discovered in Chatham County, was just interesting enough to lead us into the story though the headline was just a little misleading. It would have been a better story if a live prehistoric crocodile had been found.
Dictionary.com word of the day
mal de mer (noun) [mal duh mer]: French. seasickness