Friday, May 13, 2011

A New, Terrestrial Crocodilian-like Reptile from Brazil's Late Cretaceous

Souza Carvalho and colleagues (2011) have recently described Campinasuchus dinizi a new genus and species of baurusuchid (Crocodylifomes) based onsever skulls. This animal distinctive becasue of its relatively short, anteriorly tapering snout, differentiated maxillary teeth with the 3rd and 4th maxillary teeth extremely enlarged relative to other teeth, and the presence of a large anteroposterior depression on each palatine between the palatal fenestrae. It lived in an environment marked by long dry intervals interrupted by periods of heavy rains that created relatively deep lakes and temporary ponds during flood periods. The authors note that a remarkably diverse terrestrial mesoeucrocodylian fauna has been recovered from the continental Cretaceous of the Bauru Basin in fluvial and lacustrine deposits. Species of at least six distinct groups are now recognized, including notosuchids, sphagesaurids, candidodontids, peirosaurids, trematochampsids, and baurusuchids. All of these were mostly terrestrial crocodyliforms and they potentially developed ecological strategies that allowed them to live in a hot and arid climate in the Late Cretaceous of Brazil.
The animal discussed in this article is a 
baurusuchid mesoeucrocodylian. Above 

is a related species, 
Baurusuchus salgadoensis, a crocodile-like species, also 
from the Upper Cretaceous of Brazil. Artist Credit: Nobu Tamura 

Ismar de Souza Carvalho, et al. . 2011. Campinasuchus dinizi gen. et sp. nov., a new Late Cretaceous baurusuchid (Crocodyliformes) from the Bauru Basin, Brazil. Zootaxa 2871: 19–42

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