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Temporal range: Early - Late Triassic
Mounted skeleton of Postosuchus kirkpatricki in the Museum of Texas Tech University
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Clade: Loricata
Family: Rauisuchidae
Huene, 1942

Rauisuchidae is a group of large (up to 6 meters or more) predatory Triassic archosaurs. There is some disagreement over which genera should be included in Rauisuchidae and which should be in the related Prestosuchidae and Poposauridae, and indeed whether these should even be thought of as separate families. Rauisuchids occurred throughout much of the Triassic, and may have first occurred in the Early Triassic if some archosaurian taxa such as Scythosuchus and Tsylmosuchus are considered to be within the family.[1]

An early cladistic analysis of crocodylotarsan archosaurs included Lotosaurus, Fasolasuchus, Rauisuchus, and "the Kupferzell rauisuchid" (later called Batrachotomus) within Rauisuchidae.[2] However, a later study found that Batrachotomus was more closely related to Prestosuchus, and thus was a prestosuchid.[3] In addition, the toothless Lotosaurus has been found to be more closely related to the Ctenosauriscidae, a clade of Dimetrodon-like animals with sails on their backs.[4]

Two genera previously classified as poposaurids, are in fact rauisuchids. These include Teratosaurus[5][6] and Postosuchus.[7]


Genus Status Age Location Unit Notes Images


Valid Late Triassic  Morocco Named for the Moroccan fossil site where it was discovered, the Argana Basin.


Valid Early Triassic  China May be a chimera of fossils from the erythrosuchid Shansisuchus and an indeterminate archosaur.


Valid Carnian  US Popo Agie Formation


Valid Ladinian  Russia


Valid Carnian  Poland Polonosuchus silesiacus (2).jpg


Valid Carnian - Norian  US Chinle Formation

Newark Supergroup

Postosuchus kirkpatricki.jpg


Valid Carnian  Brazil Santa Maria Formation


Valid Middle Triassic  Brazil


Valid Anisian  Tanzania Manda Formation


Valid Norian  Germany Löwenstein Formation Once considered an early carnosaurian dinosaur Teratosaurus BW.jpg


Valid Late Triassic  India Tiki Formation


Valid Olenekian  Russia One of the oldest archosaurs.


Valid Norian  US Chinle Formation


Valid Anisian  Russia May be an erythrosuchid


Valid Olenekian  Russia


  1. ^ Gower, D.J.; Sennikov, A.G. (2003). "Early archosaurs from Russia". In Benton, M.J.; Shishkin, M.A.; and Unwin, D.M. (eds.) (eds.). The Age of Dinosaurs in Russia and Mongolia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 140–159.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  2. ^ Parrish JM. 1993. Phylogeny of the Crocodylotarsi, with reference to archosaurian and crurotarsan monophyly. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 13: 287-308.
  3. ^ Gower DJ. 2002. Braincase evolution in suchian archosaurs: evidence from the rauisuchian Batrachotomus. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 136: 49-76.
  4. ^ Nesbitt SJ. 2005. Osteology of the Middle Triassic pseudosuchian archosaur Arizonasaurus babbitti. Historical Biology 17: 19-47.
  5. ^ Long RA, Murry PA. 1995. Late Triassic (Carnian and Norian) tetrapods from the Southwestern United States. New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Bulletin 4: 1-254.
  6. ^ Galton PM, Walker AD. 1996. Bromsgroveia from the Middle Triassic of England, the earliest record of a poposaurid thecodontian reptile (Archosauria: Rauisuchia). Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen 201 (3): 303-325.
  7. ^ Weinbaum JC, Hungerbühler A. 2007. A revision of Poposaurus gracilis (Archosauria: Suchia) based on two new specimens from the Late Triassic of the southwestern U.S.A. Paläontologische Zeitschrift 81(2):131-145.

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