Proterosuchidae

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Proterosuchidae
Temporal range: Late Permian to Early Triassic
Chasmatosaurus BW.jpg
Proterosuchus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Clade: Archosauriformes
Family: Proterosuchidae
Huene, 1914
Synonyms
  • Proterosuchinae Huene, 1914
  • Chasmatosauridae Haughton, 1924
  • Chasmatosaurinae Haughton, 1924
  • Pelycosimiidae Abel, 1919

Proterosuchidae is an early, possibly paraphyletic, assemblage of basal archosauriformes whose fossils are known from the Latest Permian of Russia and the Early Triassic of southern Africa, Russia, China, Australia, and Antarctica. The name comes from Greek πρότερο- ("first") and σοῦχος ("crocodile"). They were slender, medium-sized (about 1.5 meters long), long-snouted and superficially crocodile-like animals, although they lack the armoured scutes of true crocodiles, and in their skeletal features are much more primitive. Their most characteristic feature is a distinct down-turning of the premaxilla (the front of the upper jaw, which overhangs the lower jaw). The limbs are short and indicate a sprawling posture, like contemporary lizards but unlike most later archosaurs.

Archosaurus rossicus - Permian proterosuchid

The proterosuchids represent perhaps the earliest adaptive radiation of the archosaurs. They gave rise to the Erythrosuchidae some time in the Early Triassic.

Classification[edit]

Some studies consider Proterosuchidae to be a paraphyletic grouping, meaning that it does not form a true clade with a single common ancestor and proterosuchids as its only descendants. Instead, they are a chain of successively basal archosauriforms. Below is a cladogram from Ezcurra et al. (2010):[1]

Archosauriformes 

 Proterosuchus 




 Sarmatosuchus 



 Fugusuchus 




 Osmolskina




 Koilamasuchus



 Erythrosuchidae 

 Shansisuchus




 Vjushkovia



 Erythrosuchus






 Euparkeria




 Chanaresuchus





 Vancleavea



 Doswellia



 Archosauria 

 Pseudosuchia



 Avemetatarsalia











Proterosuchids

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ezcurra, M.D.; Lecuona, A.; and Martinelli, A. (2010). "A new basal archosauriform diapsid from the Lower Triassic of Argentina". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30 (5): 1433–1450. doi:10.1080/02724634.2010.501446. 

External links[edit]