Named By: L. E. Zanno, S. Drymala, S. J. Nesbitt & V. P. Scheider - 2015.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Crocodylomorpha.
Species: C. carolinensis (type).
Size: Roughly about 3 meters long for the holotype, other individuals might have been larger.
Known locations: USA, South Carolina - Pekin Formation.
Time period: Carnian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Partial skull, jaw and partial post cranial remains.
in 2015, Carnufex may well have been one of the
key predators that
lived in what would become the eastern USA during the Triassic about
231 million years ago. Carnufex was a
crocodylomorph, a distant
relative to today’s crocodiles, and one that seems to have been a
bipedal predator of moderately sized animals. The authors of the
2015 description have noted several features of the known bones of
Carnufex making it stand out from related genera as
a distinct genus.
They also noted that the skull of Carnufex seems
to be quite
transitional linking differences between different groups of
crocodylomorphs. As a fairly fast bipedal predator, Carnufex
have filled an ecological gap that had not yet been filled by the
emerging theropod dinosaurs, though ultimately by the Jurassic, the
theropod dinosaurs would have replaced crocodylomorphs like Carnufex
The name Carnufex is derived from the Latin word for ‘butcher’, while the type species name ‘carolinensis’ simply means from Carolina. Recombined into English grammatical order, and Carnufex carolinensis translates as ‘Carolina’s butcher’.
- Early crocodylomorph increases top tier predator diversity during rise of dinosaurs. - Scientific Reports 5: 9276. - L. E. Zanno, S. Drymala, S. J. Nesbitt & V. P. Scheider - 2015.
- Osteology of Carnufex carolinensis (Archosauria: Psuedosuchia) from the Pekin Formation of North Carolina and Its Implications for Early Crocodylomorph Evolution. - PLOS ONE. 11 (6): e0157528. - S. M. Drymala, L. E. Zanno - 2016.