Named By: Hans Dieter Seus - 2003.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Diapsida, Archosauromorpha, Teraterpetidae.
Species: T. hrynewichorum (type).
Size: Roughly about 110-120 centimetres long.
Known locations: Canada, Nova Scotia - Wolfville Formation.
Time period: Carnian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Skull and partial postcranial skeleton.
Teraterpeton was an archosauromorph that much is certain. Beyond this however Teraterpeton was so unlike any other archosauromorph seen at that time that the genus had to have its own family group named, the Teraterpetidae. The jaws of Teraterpeton are notably elongated and thin, kind of like what you might see in a pterosaur or an icthyosaur, though Teraterpeton does not seem to be related to either. The anterior (front) half of the jaws were toothless. Half way back and extended to below the eye socket (another unusual feature for an archosauromorph) small sharp teeth grew. The teeth in the upper and lower jaws interlocked with one another, with the cusps of upper teeth fitting into the pits of the lower teeth, and cusps of the lower teeth fitting into the pits of the upper teeth. At the time of writing there is no clear indication as to why Teraterpeton should have become so specialised, though it certainly would have filled some kind of specialist niche within the ecosystem.
- An unusual new archosauromorph reptile from the Upper Triassic Wolfville Formation of Nova Scotia. - Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 40:635-649. - Hans Dieter Seus - 2003.