Distribution

Crocodylus anthropophagus lived about 1.8 million years ago (Plio-Pleistocene) in Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania. At this time, the habitat was a freshwater swamp.

It is likely that the hominids visited the wetland to get drinking water and food, and were attacked by the crocodiles.

The small hominids - under 1 metre tall in Homo habilis, and under 1.4 metres tall in Paranthropus boisei, didn’t stand a chance against a 5 metre-long ambush predator, waiting submerged for animals to come to drink.

Toothmarks on the fossil hominid bones were probably inflicted by small crocodiles. The larger crocodiles would have been capable of consuming hominids completely.