Turtles have been around for millions of years, but millions of years ago, life was much tougher for them, thanks to the presence of a super-sized Crocodyliform that could flip them sideways and then crush them whole.
The current issue of PALAIOS, cited by Wired, writes about the Crocodyliform (most definitely not pictured above), an as-yet unnamed 20 foot (~6m) long prehistoric crocodile-like lifeform that could gnaw its way through turtles and dinosaurs alike. Turtles, though, were in for more grief than most; the article quotes University of Wisconsin-Parkside paleontologist Chris Noto as stating that, based on the marks left on turtle shells from the Crocodyliform’s bite, that
“The marks suggest that the croc flipped turtles on their sides in its mouth using inertial motions of the jaws and head, and then crushed the shell about its long axis.”
On a side note, am I the only one who just likes saying “Crocodyliform”? We had something of a debate in the office about whether there was a term for words that were fun to say, and in the abscence of such a word, Danny suggested funomatopeia. Crocodyliform is funomatopoeic! [Wired]