Teratosaurus

Name: Teratosaurus ‭(‬Monster lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Teh-rat-o-sore-us.
Named By: Christian von Meyer‭ ‬-‭ ‬1861.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Sauropsida,‭ ‬Archosauromorpha,‭ ‬Rauisuchidae.
Species: T.‭ ‬suevicus.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Uncertain due to lack of remains.
Known locations: Germany.
Time period: Norian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Partial right maxilla‭ (‬tooth bearing bone of the upper jaw‭) ‬with‭ teeth.

       Teratosaurus was among the first rauisuchians to ever be named,‭ ‬though in the early days of the genus classification,‭ ‬it was actually thought to be a dinosaur.‭ ‬The holotype specimen of Teratosaurus,‭ ‬a partial right maxilla with teeth,‭ ‬was first found near Stuttgart,‭ ‬Germany in the year‭ ‬1860.‭ ‬The holotype found its way to the famous Christian von Meyer who initially considered a kind of phytosaur called Belodon,‭ ‬but soon found the new maxilla to be quite different.‭ ‬Von Meyer created a new genus called Teratosaurus for the specimen,‭ ‬though oddly described the maxilla as the left and not the right.
       Post cranial skeletal remains were soon added to the maxilla holotype,‭ ‬but this was when things got really messed up.‭ ‬The post cranial remains were of sauropodomorph dinosaurs,‭ ‬the early precursors to the later sauropod dinosaurs.‭ ‬For over a century Teratosaurus was identified as either a carnivorous sauropodomorph dinosaur or an early theropod since the teeth of the original maxilla were clearly those of a meat eater,‭ ‬not a plant eater.‭ ‬The truth of the matter was not discovered until‭ ‬1985‭ ‬when Peter‭ ‬Galton wrote the first paper re-describing the holotype maxilla.‭ ‬The result of this is that the sauropodomorph remains once attributed to the Teratosaurus genus as additional species have now been moved to new genera including Efraasia.‭ ‬On an unrelated note after this a new species named T.‭ ‬silesiacus was created on the description of a new maxilla in‭ ‬2005,‭ ‬though this was subsequently moved to its own new genus,‭ ‬Polonosuchus in‭ ‬2009.
       The true size of Teratosaurus is currently unknown.‭ ‬Previous estimates have suggested a total length of anywhere between three and six meters long,‭ ‬and while these length are‭ ‬within the known scope of rauisuchian sizes,‭ ‬many of these estimates date from times when sauropodomorph remains were attributed to the genus.‭ ‬Since these sauropodomorph remains are no longer included with the Teratosaurus genus,‭ ‬older size estimates can no longer be valid.‭ ‬As such with only a right maxilla attributed to the genus,‭ ‬only a best guess can be offered in determining the size of Teratosaurus.
       Although the size is not known for certain,‭ ‬the maxilla of Teratosaurus does indicate that the genus was not small,‭ ‬and rauisuchians were amongst the top predators of the late Triassic.‭ ‬Teratosaurus would be expected to have been quadrupedal with a similar body form to other rauisuchians,‭ ‬with‭ ‬a‭ ‬tough armoured back.‭ ‬Though mostly quadrupedal,‭ ‬it may have been capable of rearing up on its hind legs,‭ ‬perhaps to get a better vantage when attacking.‭ ‬This is of course all speculation based upon a supposed similarity with relative genera.
       Teratosaurus also should not be confused with the similarly named Teratophoneus,‭ ‬a type of tyrannosaur that lived in North America during the late Cretaceous.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Reptilien aus dem Stubensandstein des oberen Keupers‭ ‬-‭ ‬Palaeontographica‭ ‬7:‭ ‬253-346‭ ‬-‭ ‬H.‭ ‬von Meyer‭ ‬-‭ ‬1861.
-‭ ‬The poposaurid thecodontian Teratosaurus suevicus von Meyer,‭ ‬plus referred specimens mostly based on prosauropod dinosaurs‭ ‬-‭ ‬Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde,‭ ‬B,‭ ‬116:‭ ‬1-29.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Peter M.‭ ‬Galton‭ ‬-‭ ‬1985.
-‭ ‬The Late Triassic Reptile Teratosaurus,‭ ‬A Rauisuchian not a Dinosaur‭ ‬-‭ ‬Palaeontology‭ ‬29:‭ ‬293-301.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Michael J.‭ ‬Benton‭ ‬-‭ ‬1986.
-‭ ‬A new rauisuchian reptile‭ (‬Diapsida:‭ ‬Archosauria‭) ‬from the Late Triassic of Poland‭ ‬-‭ ‬Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology,‭ ‬25‭(‬1‭)‬:78-86.‭ ‬-‭ ‬T.‭ ‬Sulej‭ ‬-‭ ‬2005.
-‭ ‬The taxonomy and anatomy of rauisuchian archosaurs from the Late Triassic of Germany and Poland‭ ‬-‭ ‬Acta Palaeontologica Polonica‭ ‬54‭ (‬2‭)‬:‭ ‬221‭–‬230‭ ‬-‭ ‬Stephen L.‭ ‬Brusatte,‭ ‬Richard J.‭ ‬Butler,‭ ‬Tomasz Sulej‭ & ‬Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki‭ ‬-‭ ‬2009.



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