"A crocodile skull was discovered and one of the characteristics is the fact that it is very well preserved and its state of conservation is very rare for the Late Jurassic, which allowed us to identify not only that they were crocodylomorph fossils [ancestor of current crocodiles], as well as a new species", said paleontologist and scientific director of Dino Parque da Lourinhã, Simão Mateus, to Lusa agency.

The excellent state of conservation provided conditions for researchers to study the fossil, concluding that it is a new species and a new genus of crocodylomorph from the Late Jurassic, which is 150 million years old.

"This may not be the oldest, but it is the one that had the best study conditions to be so old", explained the researcher, adding that "this is the best-preserved skull that is 150 million years old".

The paleontologist added that the skull presents "some similarities and differences" with the American fauna of the Upper Jurassic, revealing the opening of the North Atlantic and the separation between the American and European continents that began to occur.

"This fossil confirms the global importance of the Upper Jurassic in Portugal, namely Lourinhã", said Simão Mateus, stressing that "in six years it is the third new species for science".

The skull of the crocodylomorph, an animal that could reach three meters in length, was found in December 2021 by German amateur paleontologist Holger Lüdtk on a rock on Paimogo beach, in the municipality of Lourinhã and district of Lisbon.

The find was studied by an international team of paleontologists linked to Dino Parque Lourinhã, the Lourinhã Museum, the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, and the University of Zaragoza, which includes Víctor López-Rojas, Simão Mateus, João Marinheiro, Octávio Mateus, and Eduardo Puértolas-Pascual and served as a master's thesis in scientific illustration for Camilo Pineda, from the University of Aveiro.

In the scientific article now published in the journal Palaeontologia Electronica, the researchers named him "Mr Holger".