Dinosaur [Representational Image]
Dinosaur [Representational Image]Reuters

Dyrosaur, an extinct crocodilian, which roamed and ruled during the prehistoric rainforest ages after the dinosaurs died, now has a scientific name - Anthracosuchus balrogus.

Dyrosaur was an ancient gigantic creature that measured 16 feet (4.8 meters) in length, with powerful teeth. It used to feed on huge turtles and fought monster snakes.

"Much like that giant beast, Anthracosuchus balrogus was [awakened] from deep within a mine after 60 million years trapped within the rocks of tropical South America," Live Science quoted Jonathan Bloch, study researcher and associate curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Archaeologists have uncovered four specimens of the new species from under the rocks in a fossil-rich coal mine of northern Colombia. Experts had earlier found skeletal remains of large turtles with thick shells and the world's largest snake - Titanoboa - under the coal mines.

Anthracosuchus balrogus is third on the list of new species of prehistoric crocodilian found at Cerrejón - a coal mine. Scientists have found that the creature belonged to the family known as the dyrosaurids.

These crocs lived in Africa, then migrated through Atlantic Ocean to South America around 75 million years ago. However, the species, surprisingly, survived during the mass extinction of dinosaurs that occurred about 65 million years ago.

"This group offers clues as to how animals survive extinctions and other catastrophes. As we face climates that are warmer today, it is important to understand how animals responded in the past. This family of crocodyliforms in Cerrejón adapted and did very well despite incredible obstacles, which could speak to the ability of living crocodiles to adapt and overcome," said Alex Hastings, a postdoctoral researcher at Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg and former graduate student at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Compared to some of its closely related species, Anthracosuchus balrogus has extraordinarily short, blunt nose. Creatures which belong to the dyrosaurids family usually have large jaw muscles, and Anthracosuchus balrogus has powerful teeth with strong muscles to tear out its prey, according to Hastings.

"It quickly became clear that the four fossil specimens were unlike any dyrosaur species ever found. Everyone thinks that crocodiles are living fossils that have remained virtually unchanged for the last 250 million years. But what we're finding in the fossil record tells a very different story," Hastings added.