Phytosaur facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Phytosaurs
Temporal range: Upper Triassic
228 to 199.6 mya
Skull of Pseudopalatus mccauleyi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Saurischia
Subclass: Crurotarsi
Order: Phytosauria
Synonyms

Parasuchia Huxley, 1875

Phytosaur skull
Phytosaur skull

Phytosaurs are an extinct group of large semi-aquatic Upper Triassic archosaurs.

Phytosaurs were long-snouted and heavily armoured, bearing a remarkable resemblance to modern crocodiles in size, appearance, and lifestyle. This is an example of convergence or parallel evolution. The name 'phytosaur' means 'plant reptile': the first fossils of phytosaurs were mistakenly thought to belong to plant eaters. The sharp teeth in phytosaur jaws clearly show they were predators.

Although phytosaurs were not true crocodilians themselves, they were more closely related to the crocodilians than to other modern reptiles. Crocodiles did not become phytosaur-like until the Lower Jurassic. "Consensus generally places phytosaurs as basal crurotarsans, possibly the basal-most group".

Phytosaurs had a nearly global distribution. Fossils have been recovered from Europe, North America, India, Morocco, Thailand, Brazil and Madagascar.

Classification

Genera

Genus Status Age Location Unit Notes Images

Angistorhinopsis

Junior synonym Junior synonym of Nicrosaurus

Angistorhinus

Valid Late Carnian

 Morocco
 US

Argana Formation
Dockum Group
Popo Agie Formation

Angistorhinus grandis.jpg

Arganarhinus

Valid Middle Carnian

 Morocco

Argana Formation

Arribasuchus

Junior synonym Junior synonym of Machaeroprosopus

Belodon

Nomen dubium Middle Norian

 Germany
 US

Stubensandstein
Chinle Formation

Many remains have since been attributed to other animals or given their own genera Belodon.jpg

Brachysuchus

Valid Carnian

 US

"Pre-Tecovas Horizon" (Dockum Group)

Centemodon

Nomen dubium Norian

 US

Cumnock Formation

Named from several teeth in 1856

Coburgosuchus

Valid Norian

 Germany

?Diandongosuchus

Valid Ladinian

 China

Falang Formation

Possible basalmost taxon. Diandongosuchus fuyuanensis.jpg

Ebrachosuchus

Valid Late Carnian

 Germany

Hassberge Formation

Francosuchus

Nomen dubium Late Carnian

 Germany

Hassberge Formation

Leptosuchus

Valid Carnian

 US

Tecovas Formation and unknown formation (Dockum Group)

Machaeroprosopus

Valid Carnian-Norian

 US

Chinle Formation
Dockum Group

Rutiodon validus 21DB.jpg

Mesorhinosuchus

 ? Valid Triassic, ? early Olenekian

 Germany

? Middle Buntsandstein

Mystriosuchus

Valid Middle Norian

 Germany

Stubensandstein

Nicrosaurus Valid Late Norian - Rhaetian

 France
 Germany

Arnstadt Formation
Upper Keuper

Nicrosaurus1Zittel.jpg

"Paleorhinus"

Junior synonym Late Carnian

 Germany
 Poland
 US

Hassberge Formation
Middle Keuper
Cooper Canyon Formation
Popo Agie Formation
Tecovas Formation

Polyphyletic.

Parasuchus

Valid Late Carnian - Early Norian  India

Lower Maleri Formation
Tiki Formation

Paleorhinus.jpg

Pravusuchus

Valid Norian

 US

Chinle Formation

Promystriosuchus

Valid

Protome

Valid Norian

 US

Chinle Formation

Protome batalaria.jpg

Pseudopalatus

Junior synonym Junior synonym of Machaeroprosopus

Redondasaurus

Valid Norian - Rhaetian

 US

Redonda Formation
Travesser Formation

Redondasaurus bermani at CMNH 04.jpg

Rutiodon

Valid Carnian

 US

Newark Supergroup

Rutiodon BW.jpg

Smilosuchus

Valid Carnian

 US

Chinle Formation

Smilosuchus adamanensis.jpg

Wannia

Valid Carnian-Norian

 US

Camp Springs Formation


Phytosaur Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.