This is probably the largest fossil specimen found and collected in recent years. This is the massive skull and mandible of a crocodile, some 1.8 million years old. It appears to have its mouth tightly shut and could so easily have belonged o one of the fierce and enormous river crocodiles on the Omo River today. Its a very impressive specimen, not only because of its completeness but because it is also very well preserved.
a section of the crew excavating the crocodile cranium
Excavating it was not half as much hard work as carrying this back to the camp. A road was made to get the car as close to the crocodile as possible and then we to loaded it onto the truck. This now sits on the lab veranda at Illeret and is very exciting for visitors to TBI to see while it waits to be cleaned.
the truck that carted the massive crocodile remains to the camp is parked next to the specimen; notice the size compared to the truck
Although the preservation was very good it required a little preliminary preparation in the form of applying hardeners to preserve and harden the under side which was fragile and coming off in small bits.
(below) crew member Daniel Elgite applies a hardener to the specimen shortly after offloading