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Temporal range: Early Triassic
Restored skull
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Subclass: Diapsida
Infraclass: Archosauromorpha
(unranked): Archosauriformes
Family: Proterosuchidae
Genus: Tasmaniosaurus
Camp and Banks, 1978
  • T. triassicus Camp and Banks, 1978

Tasmaniosaurus ('Lizard from Tasmania')[1] is an archosaur of the family Proterosuchidae, known from the Knocklofty Formation (Early Triassic) of West Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. It is Australia's most complete Triassic reptile fossil; the entire skeleton has been preserved. The type species is T. triassicus. The genus was first described in 1978, but was first named as a nomen nudum in 1974.[2][3]

Blocks of the type specimen

Tasmaniosaurus was about 1 metre long, and similar in appearance to the proterosuchid Chasmatosaurus from Africa and China, which may be its closest relative.[4] It is however distinguished from other proterosuchids by the presence of an interclavicle, which other members had lost. The premaxilla is slightly curved. The teeth are sharp. It may have fed, amongst other creatures, on labyrinthodonts, as remains of these amphibians are associated with the skeleton. It is surmised that many proterosuchids lived an amphibious, predatory life like crocodiles today. Tasmaniosaurus had no dermal scutes. Tasmaniosaurus is one of the earliest reptiles known to have lived in Australia. Another proterosuchid, Kalisuchus rewanensis, is known from the Early Triassic of Queensland, Australia.


  1. ^ Camp, C. L.; Banks, M. R. (1978). "A proterosuchian reptile from the Early Triassic of Tasmania". Alcheringa. 2: 143–158. doi:10.1080/03115517808619085. 
  2. ^ Thulborn, R. A. (1986). "The Australian Triassic reptile Tasmaniosaurus triassicus (Thecodontia: Proterosuchia)". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 6 (2): 123–142. doi:10.1080/02724634.1986.10011606. 
  3. ^ Cosgriff, J. W. (1974). "Lower Triassic Temnospondyli of Tasmania". Special Papers of the Geological Society of America. 149: 1–134. doi:10.1130/spe149-p1. 
  4. ^ Thulborn, R. A. (1979). "A proterosuchian thecodont from the Rewan Formation of Queensland". Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. 19: 331–355. 

Long, J.A., Dinosaurs of Australia and New Zealand, UNSW Press 1998