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Have you ever heard of MORAVA CROCODILE? It used to exist!

- Since the overall body length of these reptiles is approximately equal to the length of seven skulls, Morava crocodile was around 2.5 meters long. It was specialized for freshwater - said Filipovic

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Few in Serbia know the story about the Morava crocodile fossil which lived 16 million years in Serbian lake. Its fossil is kept in the Heritage museum in Paracin, and it dates from the fifties of the last century.  
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About 16 million years ago in a valley between the Dinarides and the Carpatho-balkanoid mountains, in the area of today's Pomoravlje, Serbian lake was formed. Tropical and subtropical climate and the isolation created a unique life forms in the lake, among them "Krokodilus moraviensisa" whose skull is kept in Heritage Museum in Paracin, is considered one of the most important fossils found on Serbian soil.
- In the fifties of the last century during the excavation of marl in Popovac cement plant, previously unseen fossils were found. Some of them luckily ended up in the homeland collection of elementary school "Radoje Domanović" made by teacher Momir Jezdic. When it Heritage museum was formed in 1976 in Paracin, this collection was handed over to it, but scientists have concluded that the fossils from Popovac belonged to an unknown type of prehistoric crocodile - says Branislav Stojanovic, Director of the Museum of Paracin.
Foto: AP/Darko Vojinovic

Foto: AP/Darko Vojinovic


Thanks to his engagement, the Ministry of Culture has provided funds for a whole new building where Morava crocodile and other fossils, deteriorating on the attic of old museum building, could be displayed.
As Stojanovic added, besides old Morava crocodile, many remains of younger mammoths, woolly rhinoceros, cave bear and many others have been found.
Paleontologist Boban Filipovic, who is a dedicated researcher of lake monsters, confirmed that Morava crocodile is unique and probably the most important fossils found in Serbia.
- It is a distant alligator relative. Its skull was around 35 centimeters. Since the overall body length of these reptiles is approximately equal to the length of seven skulls, Morava crocodile was around 2.5 meters long. It was specialized for freshwater, so the fossil confirms the existence of Serbian lake. According to some information, some of our museums have more parts of the skeleton i am searching for. They are essential for a complete reconstruction of the skull, which would reveal what was it's diet and shed light on another part of the story about the living world of Serbian lake - said Filipovic.
The lake was, as Dr Gordana Jovanovic said, the curator of Natural museum, "inhabited by rare and highly endemic species of snails, clams and ostracods, and the remains of fish and reptiles were found from the vertebrate".
(Telegraf.co.uk / Vecernje Novosti)

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