Evon Hekkala, Ph.D., an assistant professor of biology, is featured in the Smithsonian and PBS for her work on the extinct horned crocodile of Madagascar. 

On a trip to Madagascar, she visits an underground cave to find and collect the fossils of these species. 

“Some people see crocodiles as these animals that are unchanging through time, and we know now that’s not true,” Hekkala says in her interview.  

The horned crocodile disappeared around the same time that humans appeared in Madagascar. One of the big questions Hekkala wants to answer is what exactly was the horned crocodile? Who were its relatives? And why did it go extinct?

Hekkala hopes to extract it’s DNA and learn how horned crocodile fits into the story of evolution. 

Watch a clip from the Smithsonian here Scientists Find Skull of an Extinct Crocodile Species or the Full episode on PBS here When Whales Walked: Journeys in Deep Time.