When many of us think of Australia, there’s a good chance we picture all kinds of terrifying animals. Now, it turns out there is one more to add to the list as the river boss was once the largest crocodile in Australia.
A partial skull revealed the river boss existed
It turns out that the recent discovery of a partial skull was all researchers needed to prove that the river boss was once the largest crocodile living in Australia. In fact, it was found in Queensland’s Darling Downs region and belonged to a type of crocodile called tomistomines. This is more than just a major discovery – it shows that tomistomines lived in Australia at one point. Their remains have been found in almost every other continent in the world, but nothing was ever found Down Under, proving the river boss lived across most of the world.
There were once at least 21 species of crocodiles
Believe it or not, but there have been at least 21 different remains of crocodiles found across Australia over the years. There have been plenty of discoveries over the last three decades that show just how far the creatures have come in the last 66 million years. Nineteen of the species belong to a group of crocodiles called the Mekosuchinae that have only been found in the southwest Pacific and Australia. They came in all shapes and sizes, growing between six-and-half and 16 feet long.
Only two species now live in Australia
Although Australia was once filled with a whole host of crocodile species, most of them have since gone extinct. Now, only two remain in the form of the Indo-Pacific crocodile – commonly called the saltwater crocodile – and the Australian freshwater crocodile. In fact, the saltwater crocodile is still considered to be the largest living reptile on the planet as they can weigh more than a tonne and reach lengths of more than 20 feet. Even though they are so large, the reptiles have adapted to become some of the stealthiest and most dangerous predators in the world.
Only one species of tomistomine survives today
The river boss once lived in waters around Queensland and is thought to have grown up to more than 23 feet long. However, the partial skull is five million years old, meaning there is still plenty of time before the river boss’ reign that could have led to even larger reptiles. For now, the river boss is thought to have been the largest croc that lived in Australia. Although they are now extinct, one species of tomistomine survives. They come in the form of false gharials and are found living in freshwater around some Indonesian islands and the Malay peninsula.
The river boss was once the largest crocodile in Australia, but their days are sadly long gone. That doesn’t mean they have been replaced by anything less terrifying, as the two surviving species of crocodiles have proved they have all they need to step in and dominate where the river boss left off all those millions of years ago.