Gnatusuchus

Name: Gnatusuchus ‭(‬small nose caiman‭)‬.
Phonetic: Nat-u-soo-kus.
Named By: R.‭ ‬Salas-Gismondi,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬J.‭ ‬Flynn,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬Baby,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬V.‭ ‬Tejada-Lara,‭ ‬F.‭ ‬P.‭ ‬Wesselingh‭ & ‬P.-O.‭ ‬Antoine‭ ‬-‭ ‬2015.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Crocodylomorpha,‭ ‬Crocodilia,‭ ‬Alligatoridae,‭ ‬Caimaninae.
Species: G.‭ ‬pebasensis‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore/Durophagous.
Size: Estimated about‭ ‬1.5-1.7‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Peru‭ ‬-‭ ‬Pebas Formation.
Time period: Burdigalian to Serravallian of the Miocene.
Fossil representation: Partial skull.

       Named in‭ ‬2015‭ ‬alongside Kuttanacaiman and Caiman wannlangstoni,‭ ‬Gnatusuchus was a small genus of caiman crocodile that lived in what is now Peru during the Miocene.‭ ‬The part of Peru that Gnatusuchus is known from would have been an expanse of freshwater swamp at this time,‭ ‬and in this swamp there seems to have been a large number of bivalve molluscs living in the water.‭ ‬Gnatusuchus seems to have adapted to eat these bivalves given that the teeth of Gnatusuchus are rounded and very robust,‭ ‬not very good for piercing flesh,‭ ‬but perfect for smashing up the shells of bivalves so that the soft inner bodies could be swallowed.‭ ‬So abundant were these bivalves that Kuttanacaiman and Caiman wannlangstoni also seem to have focused upon eating these bivalves.‭ ‬Gnatusuchus is noted for having only eleven pairs of teeth in the lower jaw,‭ ‬a surprisingly few number for a caiman.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A Miocene hyperdiverse crocodylian community reveals peculiar trophic dynamics in proto-Amazonian mega-wetlands.‭ ‬Proceedings of the Royal Society of London,‭ ‬Series B‭ ‬282:20142490.‭ ‬-‭ ‬R.‭ ‬Salas-Gismondi,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬J.‭ ‬Flynn,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬Baby,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬V.‭ ‬Tejada-Lara,‭ ‬F.‭ ‬P.‭ ‬Wesselingh‭ & ‬P.-O.‭ ‬Antoine‭ ‬-‭ ‬2015.



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