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Temporal range: Late Triassic
Hyperodapedon is a genus of rhynchosaurs (beaked, archosaur-like reptiles) from the Late Triassic period (Carnian stage). Fossils of the genus have been found in Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America.
Hyperodapedon was a heavily built, stocky, animal around 1.3 metres (4.3 ft) in length. Apart from its beak, it had several rows of heavy teeth on each side of the upper jaw, and a single row on each side of the lower jaw, creating a powerful chopping action when it ate. It is believed to have been herbivorous, feeding mainly on seed ferns, and died out when these plants became extinct at the end of the Triassic.
The type species of Scaphonyx (meaning canoe claw), Scaphonyx fischeri that once thought to be a dinosaur, is now known to be based on dubious material and therefore should be a nomen dubium. The name Paradapedon was elected for the Indian species H. huxleyi (Lydekker, 1881). Benton, 1983, concluded that this rhynchosaur should be considered a species of Hyperodapedon.
Hyperodapedon is known from several species and has been found in many areas of the world, due to the continents being joined together in the supercontinent Pangaea during the Triassic. Fossils from the various species have been identified from Argentina, Brazil, India, Scotland and possibly from Canada, United States and Wyoming.
Fossils of Hyperodapedon have been found in:
- Ischigualasto Formation, Argentina
- Caturrita and Santa Maria Formations, Brazil
- Wolfville Formation, Nova Scotia, Canada
- Lower Maleri and Tiki Formations, India
- Ruvuma, Tanzania
- Lossiemouth Sandstone, Scotland
- Popo Agie Formation, Wyoming, United States
- Pebbly Arkose Formation, Zimbabwe
Langer et al. (2000) defined Hyperodapedon as a stem-based taxon that includes all rhynchosaurs closer to Hyperodapedon gordoni than to "Scaphonyx" sulcognathus (now Teyumbaita). The cladogram below follows their phylogenetic analysis of Mukherjee & Ray (2014).
Valid species that were first assigned to Scaphonyx.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hyperodapedon.|
- Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 92. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.
- Hyperodapedon at Fossilworks.org
- Max C. Langer and Cesar L. Schultz (2000). "A new species of the Late Triassic rhynchosaur Hyperodapedon from the Santa Maria Formation of south Brazil". Palaeontology. 43 (6): 633–652. doi:10.1111/1475-4983.00143.
- Mukherjee, D., Ray, S. (2014), A new Hyperodapedon (Archosauromorpha, Rhynchosauria) from the Upper Triassic of India: implications for rhynchosaur phylogeny. Palaeontology. doi: 10.1111/pala.12113
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