Thalattosuchia

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Thalattosuchia
Temporal range: 195–136Ma
Sinemurian - Valanginian
Dakosaurus2.jpg
Dakosaurus, a metriorhynchid.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Crocodylomorpha
Clade: Neosuchia
Suborder: Thalattosuchia
Fraas, 1901[1]
Families

Thalattosuchia is the name given to a clade of marine crocodylomorphs from the Early Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous that had a cosmopolitan distribution. They are colloquially referred to as marine crocodiles or sea crocodiles, though they are not members of Crocodilia.

The term Thalattosuchia was coined by Fraas in 1901.[1] Various authors considered Thalattosuchia an infraorder or a suborder within "Mesosuchia". However, the term "Mesosuchia" is a paraphyletic group, and as such is no longer used. For consistency, the Thalattosuchia are here placed at suborder rank, although the order that contains it is unnamed.

Since Buffetaut (1982) demonstrated the shared characteristics of the early forms of Metriorhynchidae and Teleosauridae, Thalattosuchia has consisted of these two families.[3] Some of the early members of Teleosauridae have been discovered in non-marine deposits. The systematics of the genus Pelagosaurus are confused, with differencing topologies placing it as either a teleosaurid,[4] or as the sister taxon to a Teleosauridae + Metriorhynchidae clade. Others considered Pelagosaurus to be a basal metriorhynchid.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fraas E. 1901. Die Meerkrokodile (Thalattosuchia n. g.) eine neue Sauriergruppe der Juraformation. Jahreshefte des Vereins für vaterländische Naturkunde, Württemberg 57: 409-418.
  2. ^ Fitzinger LJFJ. 1843. Systema Reptilium. Wien: Braumüller et Seidel, 106 pp.
  3. ^ a b Buffetaut, E. 1982. Radiation évolutive, paléoécologie et biogéographie des Crocodiliens mésosuchienes. Mémoires Societé Geologique de France 142: 1–88.
  4. ^ Gasparini Z, Pol D, Spalletti LA. 2006. An unusual marine crocodyliform from the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary of Patagonia. Science 311: 70-73.

Suggested further reading[edit]

  • Fraas, E. (1902). Die Meer-Krocodilier (Thalattosuchia) des oberen Jura unter specieller Berücksichtigung von Dacosaurus und Geosaurus. Paleontographica 49: 1-72.

See also[edit]