|“||It's not a crocodile, even though it looks like one.||„|
|— Allen, describing Sarcosuchus|
Sarcosuchus (name meaning "Flesh Crocodile") is a genus of large prehistoric crocodilian reptile that originated during the Early Cretaceous period in what is now South America. It was one of the largest crocodilians to ever exist, second after Deinosuchus.
Sarcosuchus lived in South America as well as Africa during the Early to Middle Cretaceous period from 130–93 million years ago. It was one of the top predators of its time, after the land predator of its region Giganotosaurus.
The first remains of Sarcosuchus were discovered during several expeditions led by the French paleontologist Albert-Félix de Lapparent, spanning from 1946 to 1959, in the Sahara.
Sarcosuchus was the second biggest crocodilian that has ever lived, after the giant crocodilian Deinosuchus. Growing far larger than any modern crocodile, these remarkable reptilian creatures measured over 40 feet (12.3 m) in length and weighed 6–8 tons (12,000–16,000 lbs.). Sarcosuchus had a large body which was covered in brown, thick scales as well as a long, flat tail. Even though they looked like crocodiles, they weren't crocodiles but they were however close cousins of crocodiles.
Additionally, Sarcosuchus had an overall appearance that was identical to that of a Gharial rather than a proper crocodile, especially with its long, narrow pair of jaws with a large bulla by the snout, for a large creature. Like most crocodilians, Sarcosuchus had short legs which were splayed out. This limited Sarcosuchus' mobility on land and so this reptile didn't move far away from the water's edge.
As a giant crocodilian, Sarcosuchus is said to have behaved like its modern crocodilian relatives. They basked on the bank of rivers, ponds, and lakes and hunted by waiting in the water until an animal strayed too close. Then it would erupt from the water and snap its jaws at the prey animal. Normally, Sarcosuchus didn't chase its prey if it missed, for it was an ambush predator, yet if the prey is slow-moving and couldn't escape quickly enough from the predator, Sarcosuchus would pursue it for a while more.
Sarcosuchus hunted animals like Iguanodon and even young Argentinosaurus could be taken by this predatory creature. However, if a large animal - say, an adult Argentinosaurus - approached it, it would retreat to the safety of the water.