Temporal range: Late Miocene - early Pliocene
Crocodylus checchiai is an extinct species of crocodile from the Pliocene of Libya and the Miocene of Kenya. C. checchiai was named in 1957 from the Sahabi Formation. It is similar in appearance to the Nile crocodile C. niloticus and may even be the same species. Remains from the lower Nawata Formation in the Turkana Basin of Kenya that were first attributed to the Nile crocodile have now been reassigned to C. checchiai, extending its geographic and temporal range.
C. checchiai is one of the oldest species of Crocodylus and is placed at the base of the crocodile radiation. It may be closely related to Neotropical crocodiles like the Orinoco crocodile, or to other African crocodiles like Crocodylus anthropophagus and Crocodylus thorbjarnarsoni. Below is a cladogram from the phylogenetic analysis of Brochu and Storrs (2012), which places C. checchiai at the base of Crocodylus:
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