Crocodiles in the Southern Pacific are not fossils stuck in the time before dinosaurs. Or maybe they are. Recent data shows that crocodiles have evolved at a high rate over the past 2 million years.
Don’t worry–modern crocodiles are not growing extra tails or sharper teeth. Their skulls are getting smaller and more similar. They are circling back to ancient times when they all looked the same.
So crocs that aren’t closely related, like the Nile crocodile in Africa and the Morelet’s croc of Central America, are almost skull twins.
This is likely not the result of peer pressure, and scientists are still studying the findings to figure out what is happening. It seems that diet, which can change nose shape over time, is likely a large factor.
Unless humans go extinct or something else drastically changes the climate, crocodiles aren’t likely to rediscover their diversity any time soon.