Newly Discovered Crocodile Species Once Roamed North Central Texas

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelSeptember 21, 2017 11:25 am

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Researchers have identified a new species of prehistoric crocodile. About 95 million years ago, these toothy, 20-foot beasts roamed what is now north central Texas, where they chowed down on dinosaurs and turtles. The fossil of Deltasuchus motherali was uncovered at a dig site in Arlington.

Dr. Thomas Adams, curator of paleontology and geology at San Antonio’s Witte Museum, says the site provides a window into the mid-cretaceous period.

“And at this point in time, Texas and all of central North America is under an ocean,” Adams says. “For Texas we’re all under water especially here in San Antonio and Austin.”

But in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, there was a large peninsula which was home to a flourishing ecosystem that included several species of giant crocodiles.

Adams, who was also on the team that discovered this new, old croc, says one of the traits that makes it unique is a set of dual canines on both the upper and lower jaws. Yikes.

A second person is facing charges in connection with a fatal human smuggling incident in San Antonio this past July that left 10 immigrants dead. That person is 47-year-old Pedro Silva Segura, an immigrant living in the country illegally according to federal officials.

Texas Public Radio’s Joey Palacios has more:

The indictment alleges Segura participated by transporting immigrants who are in the country illegally and hiding them from detection. He was arrested in Laredo on a separate charge. Officials did not say how they learned of his connection. If convicted, Segura could face the death penalty or life in prison.

A U.S. Attorney announced the government is no longer seeking the death penalty against the truck’s driver James Matthew Bradley Jr.

The agency that manages public housing in Houston has charged some tenants rent for units rendered unlivable by Tropical Storm Harvey. Now, the Houston Housing Authority is walking that back.

Earlier this week, the Housing Authority said it could tell property managers not to charge late fees or evict residents for not paying rent on damaged units.

But the agency said it could not forgive rent because the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development didn’t make exceptions for disasters.

Houston Chronicle reporter Rebecca Elliott contacted HUD.

“And it turned out there was a discrepancy,” Elliott says.

The Houston Housing Authority can actually forgive rent for public housing residents whose homes were destroyed by Harvey. Elliott says the agency is still trying to figure out how many people were charged rent this month for apartments they can’t live in.

“There are 183 families in public housing across three of the complexes that need to be relocated but I still don’t know how many of them have actually paid for September,” Elliott says.

The Houston Housing Authority is still working out where to relocate people displaced by Harvey.