Mekosuchus inexpectatus Balouet & Buffetaut, 1987
New Caledonian terrestrial crocodile
Taxonomy & Nomenclature
Last record: >2,000 BC, but possibly >340 AD
Anderson et al. (2010) reported a mandible fragment from a level which overlapped with human occupation of the site, implying a human induced extinction. However, they could not rule out re-deposition in a younger level, and so it remains a tantalizing mystery whether humans caused the extinction of Mekosuchus inexpectatus Balouet & Buffetaut.
Grand Terre, Isle of Pines and New Caledonia (the island), all New Caledonia (the country)
Biology & Ecology
Original scientific description:
Balouet, J. C. and Buffetaut, E. (1987). Mekosuchus inexpectatus, n. g., n. sp., crocodilien nouveau de l’Holocene de Nouvelle Calédonie. Comptes Rendu de l’Academie des Sciences, Paris, Serie II 304: 853-856.
Anderson, Atholl, Sand, Christophe, Petchey, Fiona and Worthy, Trevor H. (2010). Faunal Extinction and Human Habitation in New Caledonia: Initial Results and Implications of New Research at the Pindai Caves. Journal of Pacific Archaeology 1(1): 89-109.
Holt, T. R., Salisbury, S. W., Worthy, T. H., Snad, C. and Anderson, A. (2007). New material of Mekosuchus inexpectatus (Crocodylia: Mekosuchinae) from the Quaternary of New Caledonia. In: Warren, A., Geological Society of Australia Abstracts No. 85. 11th Conference on Australian Vertebrate Evolution, Palaeontology and Systematics, 2007, Melbourne, Australia, (27-27). April, 2007. [Abstract]
Naish, Darren. (September 20, 2006). The small, recently extinct, island-dwelling crocodilians of the south Pacific. Blog post on Tetrapod Zoology. Available online: http://darrennaish.blogspot.com/2006/09/small-recently-extinct-island-dwelling.html [Accessed 11 July 2012]
Ristevski, Jorgo et al. (2023). Migrations, diversifications and extinctions: the evolutionary history of crocodyliforms in Australasia. Alcheringa. https://doi.org/10.1080/03115518.2023.2201319