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Machikane Crocodylidae (Toyotamaphimeia Machikanensis) fossil designated as national treasure


The Council for Cultural Affairs approved the designation of Machikane Crocodylidae (Toyotamaphimeia Machikanensis) fossil housed and displayed by The Museum of Osaka University as a national treasure. The Machikane Crocodylidae fossil was the first complete fossil skeleton of this crocodylidae dating from about 450, 000 years ago found in Japan. The crocodile's skull is 1m long and its estimated overall length is 6.9 ~ 7.7m.

The crocodile fossil was discovered accidentally in a some 450,000 year-old layer of earth in May 1964, during the construction of the School of Science on Osaka University's Toyonaka campus. Judging from the analysis of pollen found in the layer of earth, it is estimated that the climate was temperate when the crocodile lived. This Machikane Crocodylidae fossil has played an important role in the study of the evolution of crocodiles.

Machikane Crocodylidae 1
Machikane Crocodylidae fossil, 3F, Machikaneyama Shugakukan, The Museum of Osaka University

Machikane Crocodylidae 2
A replica of the Machikane Crocodylidae fossil is displayed in the lobby of the Machikaneyama Shugakukan, The Museum of Osaka University.
Mascot Dr. Wani
Osaka University's official mascot character, Dr. Wani

Related events

In this 50th year since the discovery, Osaka University is holding special Machikane Crocodylidae events. More information will be posted on the university's website.

  • Exhibition: the miraculous ancient crocodile Machikane Crocodylidae (Museum of Osaka University, July 26 ~ August 30)
  • Summit 2014: Commemorative symposium, Machikane Crocodylidae (Toyonaka City Aqua Bunka Hall, 11/16)

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