Field of Science

Redescription of the Holotype Skull of the Late Triassic Rauisuchian Postosuchus kirkpatricki

I'm glad to see this out, the long awaited skull description of the rauisuchian Postosuchus kirkpatricki, which was previously only available in M.S. and PhD theses by Johnathan Weinbaum. The holotype skull was originally described by Chatterjee in 1985; however, repreparation of the material, including the removal of much matrix and plaster, has resulted in the determination of many new features.  It is an absolutely fantastic skull.

One thing I have always wondered is if P. kirkpatricki was named for the Kirkpatrick family, how come no one ever  amended the species name to P. kirkpatrickorum? Although such changes are no longer required by the ICZN, does this still apply to taxa named before the rule change occurred? 

Weinbaum, J.C.2011. The skull of Postosuchus kirkpatricki (Archosauria: Paracrocodyliformes) from the Upper Triassic of the United States. PaleoBios 30: (February 18, 2011)


Abstract - The skull of Postosuchus kirkpatricki Chatterjee 1985 is known from the holotype and paratype specimens along with disassociated skull elements from several Triassic localities in the southwestern and eastern United States. Recent preparation of the holotype skull allows for more careful examination of the cranial elements and comparison with related taxa. This description indicates that Postosuchus shares several previously unrecognized synapomorphies with crocodylomorphs, including fossae and foramina in the dermatocranium that are not present in other basal pseudosuchians. The sutural arrangements of the skull of Postosuchus presented in this paper differ considerably from previous descriptions, due in part to the reassignment of what was previously considered the prefrontal to the palpebral bone. Also, further preparation of skull elements revealed morphologies that differ from previous descriptions. This new description also indicates a close relationship with Polonosuchus silesiacus Sulej 2005. The only autapomorphic characters of the skull are a distinct, rounded lateral ridge on the maxilla and a foramen present in a large fossa on the anteromedial surface of the maxilla.

1 comment:

  1. Bill ... once Jan. 1, 2000 rolled around, alteration of earlier-published erroneously modified names cannot be altered unless shown to be an editorial error (i.e., not in the submitted manuscript). So kirkpatricki stands.

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