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New Mexico Museum of Natural History


The giant (~10 m) Late Cretaceous eusuchian crocodylians of the genus Deinosuchus are shown to have left large, blunt, sometimes penetrating bite marks on a significant number of sea turtle shells, and on several dinosaur specimens. The morphology of crocodylian bite marks is generally well documented, and the identification of bite traces specifically attributable to Deinosuchus may be made by reference to their size, age, habitat and prey selection. Deinosuchus species, and bite traces referable to the genus, are present on both sides of the Late Cretaceous Interior Seaway, and known only from Campanian deposits in the USA and northern Mexico. The heavily enameled, multi-layered, low-crowned posterior teeth of Deinosuchus were adapted specifically for bonecrushing feeding behavior, and the evidence of such is present in both the morphology of preserved bite traces and in characteristic wear patterns on their posterior teeth.