What evolutionary pressures led to crocodyliforms having plant-dominated diets remains a mystery.
If a time machine that sent you back to the Mesozoic Era, not all the crocs you'd come across would size you up as a tasty meal.
That's according to a new study published in Cell Press on Thursday that fed high-res scans of 146 teeth from 16 extinct species into a computer model and determined that, unlike their modern progeny who renowned for their ferocity, some early crocodyliforms were an altogether more peaceful lot.
"What's really fascinating about this is a lot of these teeth are unlike anything we see today," Keegan Melstrom, a doctoral student at the University of Utah who conducted the research along with his supervisor Randall Irmis, told AFP.
To determine what tooth complexity reveals about diet, Melstrom relied on previous work on heterodonty in mammals, and his own earlier findings about teeth differences in reptiles.
"Some were similar to living crocodylians and were primarily carnivorous, others were omnivores, and still others likely specialized in plants," he said, adding that they lived on different continents and at different times.
While some of these species probably looked a lot like modern day alligators or crocodiles, others were smaller, lived entirely on land unlike their semiaquatic descendants, and had legs beneath their bodies.
"And I kind of think of these ones as a hairless, armored dog or cat," he told AFP.
What remains a mystery, however, is what evolutionary pressures led to crocodyliforms having plant-dominated diets, and why they disappeared.
Carl Jenkinson, Alex Lacazette and John-Jules were on the target as Arsenal rallied to beat Al Nasr 3-2 in a friendly match at the refurbished Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai on Tuesday.
Egan Bernal of Team Ineos became the first Colombian rider to claim the prestigious Tour de France title with an emphatic victory on Sunday.
European football's governing body said Ronaldo was facing charges of "improper conduct" after he mimicked Diego Simeone's crotch-grabbing 'cojones' gesture in last Tuesday's 3-0 win that sent Juventus through 3-2 on aggregate.
The mystique of Japan's once-feared covert warriors, spread by films and fiction, is embodied today in the world's first winner of a master's degree in ninja studies.
Taiwan's trendiest couple these days are neither young celebrities nor teen influencers -- they are an octogenarian duo who run a mom-and-pop laundry service and have become an online sensation by modelling abandoned clothes.
Being overweight or obese increases general risk factors including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, some types of cancer such as breast and bowel, and having a stroke.