The world’s oldest crocodile eggs known to science have been discovered in Portugal.
The eggs were found in the cliffs on the western side of the country, north of Lisbon, and were so well preserved that they give an insight into the “mother croc” that laid them 152 million years ago.
They are remarkably similar to the eggs of modern crocodiles, suggesting crocodile eggs have changed little in shape in the last 150 million years.
The prehistoric crocodile ancestor would have been around 2 metres in length, based on the size of the larger eggs, say palaeontologists.
Crocodiles arose some 200 million years ago, when they prowled the land with early dinosaurs.
Today, they are found throughout the world and are successful predators.
Crocodile bones are fairly common in the fossil record. They include Sarcosuchus, the super-croc, which lived in the rivers of Africa, eating dinosaurs and fish.