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Crocodilia collage
Scientific classification
Crocodilia (or Crocodylia) are an order of large predatory semi-aquatic reptiles that first appeared 83.5 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous period (Campanian stage) and are the closest living relatives of birds. The order includes true crocodiles (family Crocodylidae), the alligators and caimans (family Alligatoridae), and the gharial and false gharial (family Gavialidae). The term given to reptiles in this order are called crocodilians. Crocodilians are largely built with a lizard-like appearance with long flattened snouts, laterally compressed tails with pointed scutes running down their tails, and eyes, ears, and nostrils at the top of the head.
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