Name: Morrinhosuchus ‭(‬Morrinho crocodile‭)‬.
Phonetic: Mor-rin-ho-soo-kus.
Named By: F.‭ ‬V.‭ ‬Iori‭ & ‬I.‭ ‬S.‭ ‬Carvalho‭ ‬-‭ ‬2009.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Crocodylomorpha,‭ ‬Notosuchia,‭ ‬Ziphosuchia.
Species: M.‭ ‬luziae‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Uncertain/Durophagovore/possible omnivore‭?
Size: Unavailable.
Known locations: Brazil‭ ‬-‭ ‬Adamantina Formation.
Time period: Turonian/Santonian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial skull represented by the anterior‭ (‬front‭) ‬half.

       Known only from incomplete material,‭ ‬Morrinhosuchus is still an interesting notosuchian.‭ ‬The skull of Morrinhosuchus still retained an antorbital fenestra‭ (‬an opening in front of the eye socket,‭ ‬and a small notch was present between the premaxilla and maxilla,‭ ‬the two tooth bearing bones of the upper jaw.‭ ‬The mandibles‭ (‬lower jaw bones‭) ‬arch upwards as towards the front,‭ ‬and the symphysis where they join together also includes the splenials.‭ ‬The overall shape of the mouth when viewed from above is roughly triangular with the jaws narrowing as they come together towards the front,‭ ‬possibly indicating that Morrinhosuchus was very selective about what it picked up with its mouth.‭

       The teeth towards the back of the mouth are both bulbous with a circular cross section.‭ ‬This is a very significant discovery since at the time of the description,‭ ‬Morrinhosuchus was only the second notosuchian known to have had these kind of teeth after the‭ ‬1999‭ ‬description of Mariliasuchus which is also known from the same formation as Morrinhosuchus.‭ ‬Because of these teeth,‭ ‬Mariliasuchus has been considered to have been similar to a pig in its ecological niche,‭ ‬meaning a possible omnivorous diet,‭ ‬and the same may be true for Morrinhosuchus.‭ ‬However some reptiles such as the crocodile Brachychampsa,‭ ‬the pterosaur Dsungaripterus and the mosasaur Globidens also have rounded teeth for a durophagus‭ (‬shellfish eating‭) ‬diets.‭ ‬The Adamantina Formation is known to have at least been partial wetland based upon the remains of other creatures such as turtles there,‭ ‬so it is perhaps not impossible that Morrinhosuchus ate freshwater shellfish,‭ ‬the narrow anterior mouth making picking the shellfish up out of tight spaces easier.
       Aside from the aforementioned Morrinhosuchus,‭ ‬other notosuchians that are known from the Adamantina Formation include Adamantinasuchus and Armadillosuchus.‭ ‬The Morrinhosuchus genus was named after the Morrinho de Santa Luzia,‭ ‬a hill near where the type fossils of the genus were found.‭ ‬The type species name,‭ ‬M.‭ ‬luziae,‭ ‬is after the chapel of Santa Luzia which is located on top of the hill.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Morrinhosuchus luziae,‭ ‬um novo Crocodylomorpha Notosuchia da Bacia Bauru,‭ ‬Brasil‭ ‬-‭ ‬F.‭ ‬V.‭ ‬Iori‭ & ‬I.‭ ‬S.‭ ‬Carvalho‭ ‬-‭ ‬2009.


Random favourites