Phytosaurs

Phytosaurs are an extinct group of large semi-aquatic Late Triassic archosaurs. Phytosaurs belong to the family Phytosauridae and the order Phytosauria. Phytosauria and Phytosauridae are often considered to be equivalent groupings containing the same species, but some studies have identified non-phytosaurid phytosaurians. Phytosaurs were long-snouted and heavily armoured, bearing a remarkable resemblance to modern crocodiles in size, appearance, and lifestyle, as an example of convergence or parallel evolution. The name "phytosaur" means "plant reptile," as the first fossils of phytosaurs were mistakenly thought to belong to plant eaters. The name is misleading because the sharp teeth in phytosaur jaws clearly show that they were predators.

Although phytosaurs were not true crocodilians themselves, they were more closely related to the crocodilians than to other modern reptiles, as phytosaurs are basal members of the clade Crurotarsi. Crocodiles did not become superficially 'phytosaur'-like until the Early Jurassic.

Phytosaurs had a nearly global distribution during the Triassic. Fossils have been recovered from Europe, North America, India, Morocco, Thailand, Brazil and Madagascar. Fossils attributed to phytosaurs have been found in Early Jurassic rocks, possibly extending their temporal range beyond the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.

Read more about PhytosaursHistory, Evolutionary History

Other articles related to "phytosaurs, phytosaur":

Phytosaur - Description - Differences From Crocodiles
... and lifestyle, there are still a number of minor differences that distinguish phytosaurs from true crocodiles ... For one thing, the phytosaur ankle structure is much more primitive than that of any crocodile ... Also, phytosaurs lack the bony secondary palate that enables crocodiles to breathe even when the mouth is full of water ...
Crurotarsal
... is present in the skeletons of suchians (including crocodilians) and phytosaurs, and was cited as one of the characters supporting uniting these two groups in a clade to ... related to Avemetatarsalia than to phytosaurs there is, however, not enough information to find out whether the aforementioned crurotarsal joint ... joint of pseudosuchians (including crocodilians) and phytosaurs, passing between the astragalus and calcaneum, is also called crurotarsal joint in the literature ...
Crurotarsi
... in the skeletons of suchians and phytosaurs, with a hemicylindrical condyle on the calcaneum articulating against fibula ... all descendants of the common ancestor of modern crocodiles, ornithosuchids, aetosaurs, and phytosaurs Nesbitt (2011) provided a shorter definition, defining Crurotarsi as "t ... in Crurotarsi, due to the possibly very primitive position of the phytosaurs, which means that phytosaurs and crocodilians do not form a clade that wouldn't also include avemetatarsalians (including birds) ...
Phytosaur - Classification - Phylogeny
... Phytosaurs are generally regarded as the most basal group of Crurotarsi, a clade of archosaurs that includes crocodilians and their extinct relatives ... Phytosaurs are often excluded from a clade called Suchia, which usually encompasses all other crurotarsans, including aetosaurs, rauisuchians, and crocodylomorphs ... Some studies have found polytomies between phytosaurs and other groups like Ornithosuchidae and Suchia ...
Phytosaurs - Classification - Phylogeny
... Phytosaurs are generally regarded as the most basal group of Crurotarsi, a clade of archosaurs that includes crocodilians and their extinct relatives ... Phytosaurs are often excluded from a clade called Suchia, which usually encompasses all other crurotarsans, including aetosaurs, rauisuchians, and crocodylomorphs ... Some studies have found polytomies between phytosaurs and other groups like Ornithosuchidae and Suchia ...