Named By: F. V. Iori & I. S. Carvalho - 2009.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Crocodylomorpha, Notosuchia, Ziphosuchia.
Species: M. luziae (type).
Diet: Uncertain/Durophagovore/possible omnivore?
Known locations: Brazil - Adamantina Formation.
Time period: Turonian/Santonian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial skull represented by the anterior (front) half.
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
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.
- Morrinhosuchus luziae, um novo Crocodylomorpha Notosuchia da Bacia Bauru, Brasil - F. V. Iori & I. S. Carvalho - 2009.