Koumpiodontosuchus Crocodile Tooth

A huge Koumpiodontosuchus crocodile tooth discovered on the foreshore at Brook by Megan Jacobs. Although very small this tooth is roughly twice the size of the teeth from the Holotype (original fossil discovery) Skull found on Yaverland beach a few years ago. This rare and unusual crocodile differs from modern crocodiles due to its specialised dentition.

The teeth of Koumpiodontosuchus give the crocodile its name. Koumpio means 'button-shaped' and dontosuchus means 'crocodile tooth'. Named Koumpiodontosuchus by Dr Steve Sweetman et al in 2014 the unusual crocodile had been referred to Bernissartia which was originally discovered in the town of Bernissart in Belgium.  Dr Sweetman and the other palaeontologists realised that this crocodile which looked very similar to Bernissartia had slightly different teeth and named the new species of crocodile because of this difference.

The Koumpiodontosuchus was a relatively small crocodile compared to the others in the Wealden floodplain 125 million years ago. Unlike the other crocodiles with conical pointed teeth adapted for fish and meat the Koumpiodontosuchus specialised in the (Viviparus) snails and (Unio) mussels in the rivers and streams, lakes and ponds. The round button-like teeth were able to crush the shells of the ponds and snails to get at the mollusc inside.