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Temporal range: Middle–Late Triassic
Scientific classification (dubious)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Genus: Zanclodon
Plieninger, 1846
Type species
Smilodon laevis
Plieninger, 1846

Zanclodon is an extinct genus of archosaurian reptile endemic to what would have been Europe during the Middle Triassic-Late Triassic epochs (245—199.6 mya).[1]

Zanclodon ('scythe tooth') is the name formally used for fossil material that actually belongs to at least two genera of dinosaur from the Late Triassic. Parrish (1993), Nesbitt (2005) and Nesbitt and Norell (2006) do not believe that Zanclodon is a dinosaur and place it in the clade Suchia, incertae sedis. It was formerly placed in the Teratosauridae, within the Theropoda. The type species, Zanclodon laevis, is based on a left maxilla that represents an indeterminate archosaurian. Therefore, the genus is not unambiguously identifiable.[2][3]


Zanclodon was named by Plieninger (1846). It was originally named Smilodon, but this name had previously been used for the saber-toothed cat (a preoccupied name), so it was renamed. It was synonymized subjectively with Plateosaurus by Marsh (1895) and Marsh (1896); it was synonymized subjectively with Teratosaurus by Romer (1956); it was considered a nomen dubium by Steel (1970); it was considered a nomen vanum by Welles (1984); it was considered a nomen dubium by Naish and Martill (2007). It was assigned to Lacertilia by Quenstedt (1867); to Megalosauridae by Lydekker (1888); to Plateosauridae by von Zittel (1911); to Zanclodontidae by Sauvage (1882), Marsh (1882), Marsh (1884), Marsh (1884), Marsh (1885), Fraas (1900), Huene (1908), Huene (1909) and Huene (1914); to Carnosauria by Huene (1923); and to Archosauria by Galton (2001).[4][5][6]



  1. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Zanclodon, basic info
  2. ^ Hungerbühler, A. 2001. The status and phylogenetic relationships "Zanclodon" arenaceus: the earliest known phytosaur? Palaontologische Zeitschrift 75(1): 97–112.
  3. ^ Schoch, R.R. 2002. Stratigraphie und Taphonomie wirbeltierreicher Schichten im Unterkeuper (Mitteltrias) von Vellberg (SW-Deutschland). Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde (B) 318: 1–30.
  4. ^ F. A. Quenstedt. 1867. Handbuch der Petrefactenkunde [Handbook of Fossils]. H. Laupp'schen Buchhandlung, Tübingen 1–1239
  5. ^ R. Lydekker. 1888. Catalogue of the Fossil Reptilia and Amphibia in the British Museum (Natural History). Part I. Containing the Orders Ornithosauria, Crocodilia, Dinosauria, Squamata, Rhynchocephalia, and Proterosauria. British Museum (Natural History), London 1–309
  6. ^ D. Naish and D. M. Martill. 2007. Dinosaurs of Great Britain and the role of the Geological Society of London in their discovery: basal Dinosauria and Saurischia. Journal of the Geological Society, London 164:493–510.
  • Benton, M.J. 1986. The late Triassic reptile Teratosaurus – a rauisuchian, not a dinosaur. Palaeontology 29: 293–301.
  • E. Fraas. 1900. Zanclodon schützii n. sp. aus dem Trigonodusdolomit von Hall [Zanclodon schützii n. sp. from the Trigonodus-dolomite of Halle]. Jahreshefte des Vereins für Vaterländische Naturkunde in Württemberg 56:510-513
  • Galton, P.M. 2001. The prosauropod dinosaur Plateosaurus Meyer, 1837 (Saurischia: Sauropodomorpha; Upper Triassic). II. Notes on the referred species. Revue Paléobiologie, Genève 20(2): 435–502.
  • Hagdorn, H. & Mutter, R.J., 2011. The vertebrate fauna of the Lower Keuper Albertibank (Erfurt Formation, Middle Triassic) in the vicinity of Schwäbisch Hall (Baden-Württemberg, Germany). Palaeodiversity, 4: 223-243
  • O. Jaekel. 1910. Ueber einen neuen Belodonten aus dem Buntsandstein von Bernburg [On a new belodontid from the Buntsandstein of Bernburg]. Sitzungsberichte der Gesellschaft Naturforschender Freunde zu Berlin 1910(5):197-229
  • Koken, E., 1900, (Review of E. Fraas: Die schwabischen Trias-Saurier, etc.): Neües Jahrbuch fur Mineralogie, Geologie und Palaontologie, 1900, p. 308-309.
  • Madsen, James H., Jr. (1993) [1976]. Allosaurus fragilis: A Revised Osteology. Utah Geological Survey Bulletin 109 (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City: Utah Geological Survey.
  • Nesbitt, S.J. 2005. Osteology of the Middle Triassic pseudosuchian archosaur Arizonasaurus babbitti. Historical Biology 17(1–4): 19–47.
  • Nesbitt, S.J. & M.A. Norell 2006. Extreme convergence in the body plans of an early suchian (Archosauria) and ornithomimid dinosaurs (Theropoda). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological series (advanced online publication), pp. 1–4.
  • Newton, E.T. (1899). On a megalosaurid jaw from Rhaetic beds near Bridgend (Glamorganshire). Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 55:89-96.
  • Parrish, J.M. 1993. Phylogeny of the Crocodylotarsi, with Reference to Archosaurian and Crurotarsan Monophyly. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 13(3): 287–308.
  • T. Plieninger. 1846. Über ein neues Sauriergenus und die Einreihung der Saurier mit flachen, schneidenden Zähnen in Eine Familie [On a new saurian genus and incorporating the saurian with flat, cutting teeth into a family]. Jahreshefte des Vereins für Vaterländische Naturkunde in Württemberg 2:148-154
  • R. R. Schoch. 2011. New archosauriform remains from the German Lower Keuper. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie Abhandlungen 260:87-100