Temporal range: Early Triassic
|Skull impression of P. nasutus in the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin|
Otschev and Shishkin, 1968
Parotosuchus is an extinct genus of capitosaurian temnospondyl within the family Mastodonsauridae. Fossils are known from the Early Triassic of Europe, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica. It was about 2 metres (6.6 ft) long and likely lived in aquatic environments such as lakes and rivers. Parotosuchus was covered in a scaly skin, unlike the smooth skin of modern-day amphibians, and probably moved with an eel-like motion in the water.
Parotosuchus was originally named Parotosaurus. However, the name Parotosaurus was preoccupied by a genus of skinks, and in 1968 the name Parotosuchus was proposed as a replacement. The name Archotosaurus was also proposed as a replacement name in 1976, although the author who proposed this was unaware that Parotosuchus was already in use. Because the name Parotosuchus was erected earlier than Archotosaurus, it has priority.
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- Yahoo News: Antarctic fossil prompts rethink about amphibian history
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