Name: Smilosuchus ‭(‬Knife crocodile‭)‬.
Phonetic: Smie-loe-soo-kus.
Named By: R.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Long and P.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Murray‭ ‬-‭ ‬1995.
Synonyms: Leptosuchus gregorii.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Archosauria,‭ ‬Phytosauria,‭ ‬Phytosauridae.
Species: S.‭ ‬gregorii‭ (‬type), S. adamensis, S. lithodendrorum‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: S. gregorii about 6.7 meters long, S. adamensis about 5 meters long.
Known locations: USA,‭ ‬Arizona.
Time period: Carnian to Norian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Several specimens.

       Smilosuchus was originally assigned as a large species of Leptosuchus and was classed as the species Leptosuchus gregorii.‭ ‬A key characteristic of the species was the pronounced nasal crest that supported the nostrils‭ (‬the nostrils in phytosaurs were higher up the snout in front of the eyes,‭ ‬rather than on the end of the snout like those seen in crocodiles‭)‬,‭ ‬and in‭ ‬1995‭ ‬the species was re-evaluated and considered to be distinct enough to separate it into its own genus.‭ ‬Thus the material became known as Smilosuchus gregorii,‭ ‬the gregorii part being taken from the original species classification which is standard procedure when creating a new genus from a previously established species.‭ ‬However since this has happened other palaeontologists have claimed that the fossil material now assigned as Smilosuchus is actually not different enough to treat it as a distinct.‭ ‬As such Smilosuchus faces an uncertain future at the time of writing,‭ ‬but future fossil discoveries may yet prove support for one theory over the other.

Further reading
- Late Triassic (Carnian and Norian) tetrapods from the southwestern United States. - New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 4:1-254. - R. A. Long & P. A. Murry - 1995.
- A new taxon of phytosaur (Archosauria: Pseudosuchia) from the Late Triassic (Norian) Sonsela Member (Chinle Formation) in Arizona, and a critical reevaluation of Leptosuchus Case, 1922. - Palaeontology 53:997-1022. - M. R. Stocker - 2010.


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