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Posted by Wes von Papineäu on February 10, 2000 at 10:05:57:
THE TIMES (London, UK) 09 February 00 Sahara crocodiles (Nigel Hawkes)
A population of Nile crocodiles has been found - in the Sahara Desert. This is one of the most extraordinary discoveries for years, since biologists had assumed the reptiles had died out. Ten thousand years ago, when the Sahara was a fertile savanna, crocodiles flourished but, as the desert spread, they died.
Or so the experts believed.
A German team, led by Wolfgang Böhme from the Alexander Koenig Museum in Bonn, were studying reptiles in the area when they heard rumours of crocodiles on a rocky plateau. They sped to the site where they found a 60ft-wide pond. Next to this was a Nile crocodile - sunning itself.
It was small, two metres long compared with the six metres of an African croc. But a croc it was. So were the other three the team discovered. They suspect there are more and Dr Böhme intends to fit some with radio collars to discover more about their lifestyle.