Protosuchus

Name: Protosuchus ‭(‬first crocodile‭)‬.
Phonetic: Pro-toe-soo-kus.
Named By: Barnum Brown‭ ‬-‭ ‬1934.
Synonyms: Baroqueosuchus,‭ ‬Lesothosuchus.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Crocodylomorpha,‭ ‬Protosuchidae.
Species: P.‭ ‬richardsoni‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬haughtoni,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬micmac.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size:‭ ‬1‭ ‬meter long.
Known locations: Canada‭ ‬-‭ ‬Nova Scotia.‭ ‬USA‭ ‬-‭ ‬Arizona.‭ ‬South Africa.
Time period: Late Triassic to Early Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Numerous specimens,‭ ‬some of almost complete individuals.

       Protosuchus is a member of a‭ ‬group of reptiles whose descendants would eventually go on to become the modern crocodiles that we know today.‭ ‬Teeth of one jaw can be clearly seen to fit into special notches of the opposite jaw,‭ ‬and the posterior portion of the mouth was wider than the front which allowed for a more versatile and powerful set of jaw closing muscles.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬Protosuchus seems to have been a terrestrial animal suited for hunting on land rather than in the water.‭ ‬The eyes were placed on the sides of the skull rather than the top‭ (‬modern crocodiles peer at their prey while only exposing the eyes and nostrils above the water‭) ‬and the legs were longer than later more modern forms to allow for more efficient locomotion on land.‭ ‬As a predator,‭ ‬Protosuchus probably competed with early dinosaurs such as Coelophysis.
       A bit of trivia‭ ‬about Protosuchus,‭ ‬when first described by the famous American palaeontologist Barnum Brown the holotype specimen had been named Archaeosuchus.‭ ‬However it was soon learned that this name had already been given to a genus of synapsid by the South African palaeontologist Robert Broom,‭ ‬hence the reason for the name change.



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