I have an irrational fear -- wait, scratch that -- I have a completely rational fear of alligators and crocodiles. They're scaly dinosaurs that chomp with the power of 2000 warlords and were put on this Earth to kill us. And they were even worse two million to four million years ago because they were three storeys tall.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
The remains of the croc, called Crocodylus thorbjarnarsoni, were found in East Africa and is so damn huge that it takes four men to lift the croc's skull. The ginormous crocodile, published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, were said to have exceeded 8m, and if you trust the internet, a storey is any where from 2.7m to 4.5m tall. That's three storeys of scaly skin that probably caused infinite stories of terror.
The lead author of the report, Christopher Brochu, said that the humungous crocodiles were the dominant predator of its ecosystem, which meant that it very probably preyed on our distant relatives, the Australopithecus, who were hominids that were just 1.2m tall. Being so teensy, our ancestors were probably swallowed whole by these gargantuan crocs. What a horrible way to go out.
According to Discovery, the croc looked similar to modern Nile crocs except it had a larger snout and "a pair of horn-like protuberances behind its eyes". That's the goddamned devil right there. [T&F online via Discovery News]