The prehistoric “swamp” crocodile from Australia was over 16 meters long, a new study shows

Australian researchers have called a new prehistoric crocodile classified as a “swamp king”, believing it could be 16 1/2 feet long and resemble its modern offspring if it were “on steroids”.

The findings of Jorgo Ristevski, a doctoral student at the University of Queensland, and his colleagues were published this week in PeerJ.

Since 1886, researchers have named the pollen Pallimnarchus crocodili from that era, based on fossil fragments found in southeast Queensland.

The holotype specimen of Paludirex vincenti.Jorgo Ristevski

But fresh examinations of a partial skull found in the 1980s by Australian fossil collector Geoff Vincent have shown enough new features to be “the basis for raising a new genus and species – Paludirex vincenti,” according to the newspaper.

“That’s why I named the new genus Paludirex, a name that my co-author, Dr. Adam Yates, invented, which means ‘swamp king’ in Latin,” Ristevski said in an interview with PeerJ. “The name of the species, victorious, is in honor of the late Mr. Geoff Vincent.”

University of Queensland researchers say the “swamp king” has grown to at least five meters in length.Jorgo Ristevski

Ristevski painted a picture of this terrifying beast that would have been “one of the top predators in southeastern Queensland during the Pliocene, between 5.33 and 2.58 million years ago.”

“If you could imagine Paludirex winning in life, it would probably look like an Indo-Pacific crocodile on steroids!” according to Ristevski.

The frightening creature was probably celebrated with large prehistoric kangaroos and giant diprotodontid marsupials that lived near lakes, rivers and swamps in southeast Queensland.