|Anteophthalmosuchus fossil, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle, Brussels|
Goniopholididae is an extinct family of moderate-sized semi-aquatic crocodyliforms superficially similar to living crocodiles (but see below). They lived between the Early Jurassic and the Late Cretaceous.
Compared to modern crocodilians, goniopholids are very unusual in several respects. They possessed two rows of rectangular, interlocking osteoderms like those of terrestrial crocodilymorphs like atoposaurids, that are relatively simple, do not extend far in their necks, as opposed to the ornate armours of modern crocodilians; likewise, unlike modern crocodilians but like many extinct forms like phytosaurs, they have ventral osteoderms as well. Their forelimbs are also proportionally very long, particularly in the humeri and wrist bones, being as long or longer than the hindlimbs, the opposite of the condition seen in modern crocodilians. Some like Anteophthalmosuchus also have forwardly oriented eyes, as opposed to the dorsally oriented eyes seen in modern forms. These suggest multiple biomechanical differences from modern species.
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