Phytosauria

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Phytosauria

[‚fīd·ə′sȯr·ē·ə]
(paleontology)
A suborder of Late Triassic long-snouted aquatic thecodonts resembling crocodiles but with posteriorly located external nostrils, absence of a secondary palate, and a different structure of the pelvic and pectoral girdles.

Phytosauria

 

an order of extinct reptiles of the superorder Thecodontia, subclass Archosauria. The phytosaurs, which lived during the late Triassic, measured as much as 5–6 m in length and closely resembled crocodiles, both externally and in the details of their body structure. Most scientists consider this similarity to be an example of convergence; however, some think the phytosaurs were ancestors of the crocodile.

The phytosaurs had elongated snouts with the narial openings placed far back; the eye sockets were turned upward. The hind extremities were only slightly longer than the front extremities. The body was covered with a well-developed leathery armor. Members of the order lived in freshwater basins and fed mainly on fish. Their remains have been found in Upper Triassic deposits in Western Europe, North America, and Asia.

References in periodicals archive ?
The prenarial portion of the cranium of a slendersnouted phytosaur (YPM VPPU 007920), with an associated osteoderm and bone fragments, was found by PEO, Bob Salvia and A.
participating in a summer paleontology field class with Mesalands Community College found a crocodile-like phytosaur skull, which is approximately 220 million years old.
Already, Parker and his team have discovered the bones of an extinct, crocodile-like animal called Doswellia, previously known to exist in only Texas and Virginia; as well as the complete skull of a phytosaur, another river-dwelling, crocodile-like carnivore.
They say about 1,400 skeletal elements have been recovered, including two skulls and a plethora of bones of the crocodile-like phytosaur Redondasaurus and limb bones from a new form of a large, heavily armored aetosaur.
Permanent exhibits include casts of a Coelophysis and phytosaur.
Previous field class participants have recovered numerous fossils in the field area, including two skulls of the crocodile-like phytosaur Redondasaurus, armor plates and postcrania from a new heavily armored aetosaur, remains of a large predatory rauisuchian, and several hip and limb bones of one of the earliest dinosaurs.
In addition to the mastodon, other 'residents' of the gallery will include Coelophysis, Phytosaur, Camarasaurus, Seymouria, Triassic specimens, Parasaurolophus T-Rex and Platybeladon.
Dawn of the Dinosaurs is a highly interactive, cutting edge exhibit hall of paleontology that features living fossils, the most complete database of research into Coelophysis, a wall of phytosaur skulls and an interactive sculpture that allows visitors to explore the evidence scientists use to identify evolutionary trends.
Fossil vertebrates from this locality include metoposaurs, phytosaurs, trilophosaurs, and pterosaurs, which are represented primarily by isolated teeth and jaw fragments.
Representing a broad range of depositional environments, ranging from perennial lacustrine to fluvial and aeolian settings, and documented by hundreds of fossils, these assemblages lack any of the characteristic Late Triassic faunal elements, most conspicuously metoposaurid temnospondyls, phytosaurs, procolophonids, and diverse non-crocodylomorph and non-dinosaurian archosaurs, all of which are known from older assemblages in the Fundy basin and elsewhere.
Stretching along six miles of parkland (and extending as far as Utah), the huge formation contains remains dating back 220 million years, from crocodile-like phytosaurs to armored, plant-eating aetosaurs.