Lagosuchus is a genus of small avemetatarsalian archosaurs from the middle Triassic period. It is generally thought to be closely related to dinosaurs, as a member of the Dinosauromorpha. Its fossils were found in the Chañares Formation of Argentina, the dating of which is uncertain; some sources date it to the Middle Triassic whilst others date it to the earliest Carnian.
The type species Lagosuchus talampayensis was first described by Alfred S. Romer in 1971, who considered it a "pseudosuchian". In 1972 he named a second species, Lagosuchus lilloensis, known from a larger and more well-preserved skeleton. A later review by Jose Bonaparte in 1975 synonymized the two species and considered Lagosuchus intermediate between "pseudosuchians" and saurischian dinosaurs. Modern authors now consider at least L. lilloensis to be firmly on the lineage of archosaurs leading to dinosaurs. However, the genus Lagosuchus is regarded by some to be dubious. Paul Sereno and Andrea Arcucci considered L. talampayensis to be undiagnosable in a 1994 study, and reclassified L. lilloensis as a new genus, Marasuchus. Additionally, the dating of its formation is unclear; recent research has dated the Chañares to the early Carnian stage of the Late Triassic.
Lagosuchus is known from very incomplete remains (only a hind leg plus a shoulder blade and vertebrae can be definitely assigned to it). However, features of the leg show that it was a lightly built archosaur, and is notable for its long slender legs and well-developed feet - features it shares with certain dinosaurs. These features, as well as comparisons to close relatives, suggest that it could run on its hind legs for short periods, although it probably moved on all fours most of the time. Lagosuchus was likely an agile predator that could use speed to chase its prey and to escape larger predators. Lagosuchus was about the size of a ferret.
- Romer, Alfred Sherwood (15 June 1971). "The Chañares (Argentina) Triassic reptile fauna. X. Two new but incompletely known long-limbed pseudosuchians". Breviora. 378: 1–10.
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- Jose, Bonaparte (1975). "Nuevos materiales de Lagosuchus talampayensis Romer (Thecodontia-Pseudosuchia) y su significado en el origen de los Saurischia: Chañarense inferior, Triásico medio de Argentina" (PDF). Acta Geológica Lilloana. 13 (1): 5–90.
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- Sereno, Paul C.; Arcucci, Andrea B. (March 1994). "Dinosaurian precursors from the Middle Triassic of Argentina: Marasuchus lilloensis, gen. nov". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 14 (1): 53–73. doi:10.1080/02724634.1994.10011538.
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