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June 27, 2019 - NewScientist

Ancient crocodile cousins evolved vegetarianism at least three times

Ancient crocodile cousins evolved vegetarianism at least three times
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We think of crocodiles as fearsome predators, but it wasn’t always so. During the dinosaur era, many crocodile-like reptiles were peaceful plant-eaters.

Herbivory evolved “anywhere from three to six times”, he says. Far from a rare oddity, “this is a really successful dietary strategy”.

Carnivorous animals do sometimes evolve to eat plants instead. Giant pandas are the most famous example, but there is also a vegetarian spider.

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