Protorosaurus

Name: Protorosaurus ‭(‬First lizard‭)‬.‭ ‬Sometimes spelled as Proterosaurus.
Phonetic: Pro-tor-o-sore-us.
Named By: Christian Erich Hermann von Meyer‭ ‬-‭ ‬1830.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Archosauromorpha,‭ ‬Protorosauria,‭ ‬Protorosauridae.
Species: P.‭ ‬speneri‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Uncertain,‭ ‬has been interpreted as a Herbivore and an Insectivore.‭ ‬See main text.
Size: Holotype estimated at‭ ‬1.64‭ ‬meters long,‭ ‬though fragmentary remains hint at a possible‭ ‬2.5‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: England and Germany.
Time period: Wuchiapingian of the Permian.
Fossil representation: Remains of many individuals,‭ ‬though often incomplete.‭ ‬Coprolites have been attributed to the genus as well.

       Although known from other locations,‭ ‬Protorosaurus fossils are most common in Germany.‭ ‬This might suggest that Protorosaurus were more numerous there during the Permian,‭ ‬however it might also suggest that the conditions in Germany during the Permian were better for the fossilisation process to begin,‭ ‬therefore Germany might not have had a higher population of Protorosaurus than anywhere else.
       Protorosaurus seems to have been a fairly good sized reptile,‭ ‬though precise details to its size are hard to establish due to the fragmentary and incomplete nature of many of the remains.‭ ‬An upper length of two and a half meters long has been considered for the genus,‭ ‬though this is based upon isolated remains.‭ ‬The form of Protorosaurus though can be quite easily reconstructed,‭ ‬and as a whole reptile,‭ ‬Protorosaurus would have been a quadrupedal lizard like reptile with quite a long neck for its body.
       In popular science books marketed with the general public in mind,‭ ‬Protorosaurus is usually credited as being an insectivore.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬what appears to be stomach contents of Protorosaurus suggest that it was actually a herbivore.‭ ‬The plant genus Ullmannia has been credited with being found not only within the stomach contents,‭ ‬but also coprolites that have been attributed to Protorosaurus.‭ ‬With the herbivorous diet likely,‭ ‬Protorosaurus may have evolved a proportionately longer neck in order to feed upon a wider range of plants,‭ ‬similar to how the sauropod dinosaurs would start to develop longer necks later in the Jurassic.
       The name Protorosaurus means first lizard,‭ ‬though as an archosaur,‭ ‬it was not directly related to modern lizards.‭ ‬Protorosaurus also has a link with the ceratopsian dinosaur Chasmosaurus.‭ ‬When Lawrence Lambe first named this dinosaur,‭ ‬he wanted the name Protorosaurus,‭ ‬but discovered that it had already been used to name this archosaur,‭ ‬so had to use Chasmosaurus instead.
       In‭ ‬2009‭ ‬the description of a new archosauromorph named Czatkowiella also led to the idea that it was closely related to Protorosaurus.

Further reading
-‭ ‬About the presumed diet of Protorosaurus and a physically preserved fruit stand Archaeopodocarpus germanicus aut,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬Weigelt‭ ‬-‭ ‬1930.
-‭ ‬The female cones of Pseudovoltzia liebeana and its significance for the phylogeny of conifers,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬-J.‭ ‬Schweitzer‭ ‬-‭ ‬1963.
-‭ ‬Gut contents of Parasaur‭ (‬Pareiasauria‭) ‬and Protorosaurus‭ (‬Archosauromorpha‭) ‬from the Kupferschiefer‭ (‬Upper Permian‭) ‬of Hessen,‭ ‬Germany,‭ ‬W.‭ ‬Munk‭ & ‬H.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Sues‭ ‬-‭ ‬1993.
-‭ ‬A Redescription of the Early archosauromorph Protorosaurus speneri Meyer,‭ ‬1832,‭ ‬and its phylogenetic relationships,‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Gottman-Quesada‭ & ‬P.‭ ‬M.‭ ‬Sander‭ ‬-‭ ‬2009.
-‭ ‬A long−necked archosauromorph from the Early Triassic of Poland,‭ ‬Magdalena Borsuk−Białynicka‭ & ‬Susan E.‭ ‬Evans‭ ‬-‭ ‬2009.



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