Named By: C. Li, X.-C. Wu, L.-J. Zhao, S. J. Nesbitt, M. R. Stocker & L.-T. Wang - 2016.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Archosauriformes.
Species: L. somnii (type).
Size: About 2 meters long.
Known locations: China - Falang Formation.
Time period: Ladinian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Almost complete individual, including soft tissue impressions.
name Litorosuchus means ‘littoral crocodile’,
reference to the
littoral (coastal) habitat that Litorosuchus is
thought to have
lived in. Litorosuchus measured about two
meters long, though
just over half of this was tail. The vertebrae of the tail had
strongly developed and enlarged neural arches, and these combined
with the proportionate length clearly indicate that the tail would have
been the primary means of locomotion when swimming in the water.
Preserved with the holotype are soft tissue impressions that show the
toes on the feet of Litorosuchus were webbed,
showing that Litorosuchus spent a lot of time in
All in all, Litorosuchus probably still returned to the land when not hunting in the water. The aquatic adaptations of Litorosuchus however mean that these creatures would have had an easy time moving amongst tidal pools and lagoons when searching for prey.
- A new armored archosauriform (Diapsida: Archosauromorpha) from the marine Middle Triassic of China, with implications for the diverse life styles of archosauriforms prior to the diversification of Archosauria. The Science of Nature 103(11-12). - C. Li, X.-C. Wu, L.-J. Zhao, S. J. Nesbitt, M. R. Stocker & L.-T. Wang - 2016.