Isisfordia

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Isisfordia
Temporal range: Early-Late Cretaceous, Albian–Cenomanian
Isisfordia.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Crocodylomorpha
Clade: Eusuchia
Genus: Isisfordia
Salisbury et al., 2006
Type species
Isisfordia duncani
Salisbury et al., 2006

Isisfordia (named after the discoverer; former Deputy Mayor of Isisford, Ian Duncan)[1] (holotype QM F36211) is an extinct genus of crocodyliform closely related to crocodilians that lived during the Middle Cretaceous (AlbianCenomanian). Its fossils were discovered in the Winton Formation in Isisford, Queensland, Australia in the mid-1990s.[1][2] Most of the animal was discovered, with the exception of the front portion of the skull. On a later expedition to the location, paleontologists discovered a complete skull which differed from the original specimen in size only.[2]

The estimate of the length of Isisfordia is about 1.1 m (3.6 feet).

Relation to modern day crocodilians[edit]

The discovery of the fossilized remains led paleontologists to suggest that the group including modern crocodilians first evolved 30 million years earlier than previously thought, during the Cretaceous period on the supercontinent Gondwana.[2] Analysis of the remains concluded that the vertebrae fit together as they do in modern crocodilians, via loose ball-and-socket joints, as well as a secondary palate similar to that in living crocodilians which allows them to let air pass into the lungs without entering the inside of the mouth.[2]

Segmentation of dorsal osteoderms over time in advanced neosuchians (Isisfordia third from left).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Missing link crocodile found down under". Science Buzz. Science Museum of Minnesota. 18 June 2006. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Ancestor of all modern crocodilians discovered in outback Queensland". The University of Queensland. 14 June 2006. Retrieved 11 July 2013.