Meet the new Kid!

Hey there fun bunch!  Welcome back!  It is my great pleasure to introduce you to our very newest education animal.  Her name is Phoebe, and she is our new baby education alligator.

Close up on the pretty girl!

You can meet her during programs by our wonderful education staff, and also sometimes at the end of our Thursday public Reptile Feeding programs which begin at 4pm.  She is only a few months old and quite adorable.  She got her name after a variety of good suggestions were thrown out and then voted upon.  But what she was named after is even cooler…

Looks like lunch to me!We call her Phoebe, as a nickname…She was named after Phobosuchus, the giant prehistoric crocodilian of the Cretaceous period that lived in North Carolina around 70 million years ago, and could attain lengths of 40 feet or more.  These behemoths dwelled in the warm seas of the time preying on anything they could overpower, including dinosaurs!  The name Phobosuchus (pronounced  Fo-bow-sook-us) actually means “terrible crocodile”.  It had a 6 foot skull, and teeth that were 4 inches long.  And even though it lived at the same time, this crocodile was not a dinosaur, but a prehistoric reptile.  Another name synonymous with this animal is Deinosuchus.  Studies of fossilized skull fragments indicate that this animal was more closely related to alligators than modern day crocodiles.  It had a broader snout and was made for crushing its prey.  It’s bite was probably even more powerful than the big therapod dinosaurs of it’s time, like Tyrannosaurus Rex!

So now that you know a little more about her background, be sure to come out and visit our newest little squirt during a program sometime!  She’s cute, she’s adorable, but sadly she won’t be getting 40 feet long or eating dinosaurs anytime soon…  🙂

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