New Prehistoric Crocodile Found in "Kitchen Counters"
Fossils found in limestone slabs once destined for Italian homes.
The fossils were originally discovered in a limestone quarry in Ferrara, Italy, in 1955 after workers sliced a huge block into four slabs and found the bones trapped inside.
"When the owner noticed the bones, he decided to save" the slabs, said study co-author Federico Fanti, a geologist at the Museo Geologico Giovanni Capellini in Italy.
Scientists performed only a cursory examination of the fossils—enough to determine that they belonged to an ancient crocodile—before the slabs were transferred to two museums in Italy.
The fossils sat unstudied until 2009, when scientists decided to examine them again in more detail.
Analysis of the embedded bones revealed a skull and a few vertebrae that belonged to a