Discovery of ancient crocodile-like reptiles in Brazil

A Middle and Late Triassic landscape in southern Brazil depicts a large Presto suchus chiniquensis feeding on a dicynodont carcass while individuals of Parvo suchus aurelioi compete for scraps. Credit: Matthews Fernandes/Nature

Discovery of Parvosuchus orelloi, a new species Classify Ancient predatory reptiles of the Pseudomonas group have been reported in Brazil. It dates back to about 237 million years ago during the Middle and Late Eastern period Triassic This discovery adds important insight into the diversity of early reptiles before the dominance of dinosaurs.

Paper published in Scientific reports Details of the discovery of a new ancient predatory reptile known as Parvosuchus orelloi in Brazil. This creature belongs to a group of crocodile-like reptiles called pseudopods. This specimen dates back to approximately 237 million years ago, during the Middle and Late Triassic period, and represents the first discovery of a small predatory reptile of its kind in the country.

Before the dominance of dinosaurs, pseudoreptiles were a common form of ancient quadrupedal reptiles during the Triassic Period (252–201 million years ago), and some species were among the largest carnivores of the time. Smaller pseudopods known as gracilissuchids lived alongside these apex predators and were found in areas such as China and Argentina.

unveil Parvosuchus orelloi

Now, Rodrigo Müller has reported the discovery of a new species of gracilissuchid based on a specimen found in the Santa Maria Formation in Brazil. The partial skeleton dates back to approximately 237 million years ago, and consists of a complete skull including the lower jaw, 11 dorsal vertebrae, a pelvis, and partially preserved limbs. The author names the new species Parvosuchus orelloi It is derived from “parvus” (small) and “suchus” (crocodile) and honors the amateur paleontologist Pedro Lucas Porcella Aurelio, who discovered the fossil material.

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The skull is 14.4 cm (5.7 in) long and features a long, slender jaw with pointed, backward-curving teeth, and numerous cranial openings. The skeleton is lightweight and its total length is estimated at less than one metre. These features are classified P. Oriloy As a gracilissuchid, making it the first species from this group to be confirmed in Brazil, according to the author. He adds that this discovery highlights the diversity among hominins in the Triassic period.

Reference: “A new small-sized predatory pseudo-archosaur from the Middle and Late Triassic of southern Brazil” by Rodrigo T. Mueller, June 20, 2024, Scientific reports.
doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-63313-3

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