Named By: Arthur Smith Woodward - 1896.
Classification: Chordata, Crocodylomorpha, Notosuchia, Notosuchidae.
Species: N. terrestris (type), N. lepidus.
Diet: Uncertain. possible Herbivore/Omnivore.
Size: Roughly about 1.5 meters long.
Known locations: Argentina, Patagonia - Bajo de la Carpa Formation.
Time period: Coniacian-Santonian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Skull and most of the post cranial skeleton of several individuals, though lower limbs often lacking.
was named in 1896 and was the first of what would become known as
the notosuchian crocodiles
that would be described to science.
Attaining sizes up to one and a half meters in length, Notosuchus
was small when compared to most other crocodiles, though itself still
larger than most known notosuchian genera. Notosuchus
was also one of
the first crocodiles confirmed as being mostly if not entirely
terrestrial. This means that Notosuchus spent
most of their time
roaming about on dry land, only approaching water to drink.
One of the most startling discoveries concerning Notosuchus came in 2008 when a much more complete skull preserving a higher level of detail was discovered. The describers of this study (Fiorelli & Calvo) showed that not only did the skull lack a bony nasal septum, but it was quite likely that a short muscular trunk probably grew from the end of the snout. The lower jaw also supported the placement of a fleshy lower lip that would have worked in conjunction with the short trunk to grip things. It is also possible that Notosuchus may have also had a fleshy cheek to prevent food from falling out of the sides of the mouth when being chewed. It now seems that Notosuchus would have lived like a modern day wild pig, sniffing through the undergrowth and leaf litter, using smell to identify food that was otherwise hidden from other animals.
- On two Mesozoic crocodilians from the red sandstones of the territory of Neuquen (Argentina Republic). Notosuchus (genus novum) and Cynodontosuchus (genus novum). Anales del Museo de La Plata. - Paleontología Argentina 4:1-20. - Arthur Smith Woodward - 1896.
- Nuevos restos de Notosuchus terrestris Woodward, 1896 (Crocodyliformes: Mesoeucrocodylia) del Cretácico Superior (Santoniano) de la Provincia de Neuquén, Patagonia, Argentina. - 79p. Tesis (Grado) Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba. - L. E. Fiorelli - 2005.
- New remains of Notosuchus terrestris Woodward, 1896 (Crocodyliformes: Mesoeucrocodylia) from Late Cretaceous of Neuquen, Patagonia, Argentina. - Arquivos do Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro 66 (1): 83–124. - L. E. Fiorelli & J. O. Calvo - 2008.