Prehistoric Crocodilians

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  • Of all the reptiles alive today, crocodiles and alligators may be the least changed from their prehistoric ancestors of the late Cretaceous period, over 65 million years ago–although the even earlier crocodiles of the Triassic and Jurassic periods sported some distinctly un-crocodile-like features, such as bipedal postures and vegetarian diets
  • Before the first true crocodiles emerged on the prehistoric scene, there were the phytosaurs (“plant lizards”): archosaurs that looked very much like crocodiles, except that their nostrils were positioned on the tops of their heads rather than the tips of their snouts. You might guess from their name that phytosaurs were vegetarians, but in fact they subsisted on fish and marine organisms in freshwater lakes and rivers worldwide
  • By the start of the Jurassic period (about 200 million years ago), crocodiles had mostly abandoned their terrestrial lifestyles. This is when we begin to see the marine adaptations that characterize modern crocodiles and alligators: Long bodies, splayed limbs, and narrow, flat, tooth-studded snouts with powerful jaws (a necessary innovation, since crocodiles feasted on dinosaurs and other animals that ventured too close to the water)

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Planet Earth 2910: Docker and the Crocodillians (Unfinished, draft ver.)

In spite of the steep toll The Gorgon Rebellion of 2140 took on Planet Earth, the planet was never fully evacuated. approximately 1.2 billion of the remaining humans were unable to flee the planet with the rest of the remaining 4 billion humans for various reasons. Though initially it was thought that the stragglers had no clear long-term hope for survival on the devastated planet… Some managed to not only survive, but thrive in this brave new world.

Many of the world’s ecosystems managed to likewise recover, too, and various new lifeforms arose in the intervening centuries between the initial evacuation and mankind’s return to it’s native home in 2910. The Crocodillians - genus Crocodylus Sapiens - were one such species, first emerging from their birthplace somewhere in Louisiana sometime around 2184*.

Being the second - and to date the only - other species on the planet with human-level intellect, the bipedal reptiles would over time become the remaining human populace’s close comrades in the struggle to survive on a planet recovering from devastation of unprecedented scale.

*Popular rumor says the first Crocodillian settlement — and their cradle of civilization — was situated near a genetics lab in New Orleans; top anthropologists have been unable to come to a conclusion regarding this theory. All that is for certain is that Humans first established communications with the Crocodillians around 2185, and that Docker Ballion of Planet Olga — pictured above — was the first extraterrestrial to establish contact with the species in 2910. See “Fifty days amongst the Crocodillians: A Study of Emerging Civilizations” by R. Beeton (2912) for more information.

—The Crocodillians of Earth: A Primer For Novice Anthropologists (J. Knoblewurst 2918, p. II)

 This one’s been sitting sketched, inked and partially colored on my hard drive since august, the first drawing I made after our recent move to a larger townhouse. Ultimately lost interest in this one since the poses proved a little too annoying to figure out and the scale’s kinda screwed up anyway. I like the basic idea, though… Might need to redo this one from scratch at some point. Crocodillians are supposed to be kinda non-emotive and that’s a bit too bedroom eyes-y of a face it’s making, anyway.