Protorosaurus

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Protorosaurus speneri
Temporal range: Lopingian, 260–251 Ma
Protorosaurus speneri.jpg
Fossil specimen, Teyler's Museum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Clade: Sauria
Clade: Archosauromorpha
Genus: Protorosaurus
von Meyer, 1830
Species: † P. speneri
Binomial name
Protorosaurus speneri
von Meyer, 1830

Protorosaurus ("first lizard"), a lizard-like early archosauromorph reptile. It lived during the late Permian period in Germany.

Description[edit]

Life restoration

Protorosaurus grew up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) in length, and was a slender, lizard-like animal, with long legs and a long neck. Its body form suggests that it was fast-moving, although it may have fed primarily on insects.[1] Protorosaurus was closely related to Czatkowiella from the Early Triassic of Poland.[2]

Discovery[edit]

In 1914, a new ceratopsian dinosaur found by Lawrence Lambe was again given the name Protorosaurus (in this sense meaning "before Torosaurus"). When Lambe found that the name had already been used for the early archosauromorph, he renamed his ceratopsian Chasmosaurus.

In Geopark of Paleorrota, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, 3 vertebrae and some bones of the animal were found.

Relationships[edit]

Skeleton illustration

The cladogram below follows an analysis by Ezcurra (2016), and highlights the position of Protorosaurus among other early archosauromorph reptiles.[3]

 Archosauromorpha 


Aenigmastropheus




Protorosaurus




Tanystropheidae


 Crocopoda 

Allokotosauria




Rhynchosauria




Boreopricea




Prolacertidae




Tasmaniosaurus



Archosauriformes











References[edit]

  1. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 93. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 
  2. ^ Borsuk–Białynicka, M.; Evans, S.E. (2009). "A long–necked archosauromorph from the Early Triassic of Poland" (pdf). Palaeontologia Polonica 65: 203–234. 
  3. ^ Ezcurra MD. (2016) The phylogenetic relationships of basal archosauromorphs, with an emphasis on the systematics of proterosuchian archosauriforms. PeerJ, 4:e1778 [1]