To most people, the group Crocodilia refers to the 23 species of crocodiles, alligators, and the gharial that still exist today. Back in the Mesozoic, their ancestors collectively known as crocodyliforms were far more diverse.
Around 145 million years ago, however, their diversity took a dip as the Jurassic Period came to an end. This extinction event also wiped out about 80% of species at that time.
A group of researchers from Imperial College London and University College London led by Jon Tennant of the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial analyzed a collection of 200 crocodyliform specimens to learn more about them.