Field of Science

Two New 'Rauisuchid' Papers

Weinbaum, J. C. 2013. Postcranial skeleton of Postosuchus kirkpatricki (Archosauria: Paracrocodylomorpha), from the upper Triassic of the United States. In Nesbitt, S. J., Desojo, J. B. and R. B. Irmis, (eds) Anatomy, Phylogeny and Palaeobiology of Early Archosaurs and their Kin. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 379, http://dx.doi.org/10.1144/SP379.7

Abstract - Postosuchus kirkpatricki is a Late Triassic (Norian) ‘rauisuchid’ archosaur from North America. The initial description of the Postosuchus type material included elements from two poposaurids. This confusion has prevented adequate description of the material. Recent examination of the type material and other specimens of Postosuchus, and of related taxa, has helped clarify the osteology of Postosuchus. The type specimens represent c. 75% of the skeleton. Together with other referred material, Postosuchus remains one of the most completely known rauisuchids. The paratype skeleton, which is relatively complete, would have been c. 3.5–4 m in length, and the holotype would have been closer to 5–6 m.

Analysis of the postcranial skeleton of Postosuchus suggests that it may have been an obligate biped (based in part on limb proportions, which are similar to some theropod dinosaurs, the size of the manus (30% of the size of the pes) and the highly reduced nature of the digits and vertebral measurements). Possible postcranial autapomorphies of Postosuchus include a large, rugose triangular supra-acetabular buttress confluent with the dorsal margin of the iliac blade, and a symmetrical pes with digits two and three being roughly equal in length.


De Franca, M. A. G., Langer, M. C., and J. Ferigolo. 2013. The skull anatomy of Decuriasuchus quartacolonia (Pseudosuchia: Suchia: Loricata) from the middle Triassic of Brazil. In Nesbitt, S. J., Desojo, J. B. and R. B. Irmis, (eds) Anatomy, Phylogeny and Palaeobiology of Early Archosaurs and their Kin. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 379, doi:10.1144/SP379.8

Abstract - Unlike most rauisuchians, which are known based on partially preserved specimens, fossils attributed to Decuriasuchus quartacolonia include a monotaxonomic assemblage composed of nine associated individuals (MCN-PV10.105a–i), three with almost complete skulls (MCN-PV10.105a,c,d), and a partial disarticulated skull (MCN-PV10.004) collected in the Middle Triassic (Ladinian, Dinodontosaurus Biozone) beds of the Santa Maria Formation, in south Brazil. Because of its completeness and possible phylogenetic position, as one of the most basal loricatans, D. quartacolonia is a key taxon for anatomic, evolutionary and biomechanical studies of rauisuchians. The comparative description of its osteology reveals that the skull and mandible of D.quartacolonia are very similar to those of cf. Prestosuchus chiniquensis and Saurosuchus galilei, sharing a drop-shaped subnarial fenestra, a subtriangular antorbital fenestra with an elongated and narrow anterior point, a ‘roman nosed’ nasal, and a posteroventrally oriented ridge on the lateral surface of the ventral ramus of the squamosal. Among the differences are the autapomorphies of D.quartacolonia: numerous maxillary teeth (17), lateral expansion of the nasal/lacrimal covering the antorbital fenestra dorsally, and squamosal and quadratojugal forming a subtriangular projection that invades the lower temporal fenestra.

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