A giant crocodile in the Dubois Collection from the Pleistocene of Kali Gedeh (Java)


  • Massimo DELFINO,

    Corresponding author
    1. Earth Sciences Department, University of Torino, Torino, Italy
    2. Catalan Institute of Palaeontology Miquel Crusafont, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
    • Correspondence: Massimo Delfino, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Torino, Via Valperga Caluso 35, I-10125 Torino, Italy. Email: massimo.delfino@unito.it

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  • John DE VOS

    1. Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, Netherlands
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The fauna of the Pleistocene Homo-bearing sites of Java has been well known for more than a century. A recent revision of the crocodylian remains confirmed both the validity of Gavialis bengawanicus and the synonymization of Crocodylus ossifragus with C. siamensis. Here we report on a still unpublished crocodylian specimen collected by Eugene Dubois in the latest Early Pleistocene of Kali Gedeh that can be tentatively referred to the genus Crocodylus. The size of the specimen, the approximately 1 m long lower jaw in particular, indicated that this crocodile attained a total length of approximately 6 or 7 m. Along with specimens from the Plio–Pleistocene of Africa, this material provides evidence for gigantism in Crocodylus. It is not clear whether or not the ‘temperature-size rule’ applies to fossil crocodylians, but due to the growing interest in predicting future temperature-related size changes of the extant organisms, it would be interesting to study in detail the past reaction to temperature changes of crocodylians and other terrestrial ectothermic animals.