New species of Triassic-era crocodile-like reptile unearthed in Brazil

Stenoscelida aurantiacus. Credit: skeleton by Maurício S. Garcia reconstruction by Matheus Fernandes

A pair of scientists from the Federal University of Santa Maria performing with a colleague from the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, have discovered a new species of Triassic-period reptile that was unearthed not too long ago at a dig website in Brazil.

In their paper posted in Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, Rodrigo Temp Müller, Mauricio Silva Garcia and André de Oliveira Fonseca, describe the fossil they uncovered and where by the new species matches in the historic history.

Paleontologists have been doing work for some time at the Rio Grande do Sul dig web-site in Brazil, and in so carrying out have observed a large variety of dinosaur bones. Through that time, couple of reptile continues to be have been located, however.

Hence, the researchers had been amazed when they found a total leg fossil from an unidentified historical reptile, alongside with configurations of the foot that was after hooked up to it. The researchers realized the fossils have been ancient the rock close to them has been dated to 230 million many years ago—during a time when the dinosaurs had been nonetheless roaming the earth.

Subsequent investigation of the fossil showed that it belonged to an historic course of reptiles identified as proterochampsids—a team that experienced only at any time been found in Argentina and Brazil. Prior research has demonstrated that irrespective of possessing bodily attributes identical to modern day crocodiles and alligators, no sturdy degree of kinship has been identified.

The scientists also uncovered that the fossil represented a species that experienced not been found ahead of, which intended that they obtained to name it. They chose Tenoscelida aurantiacus, a nod to the slenderness of the leg and the orange coloration of the rocky bed in which it was discovered.

Based mostly on the size of the fossil, the scientists believed the creature would have been about 1.40 meters long, and would have walked on all-fours. They also suspect, based on related species of the time, that the reptile was a meat eater. They opine that its develop lent itself to a lifestyle around the drinking water, identical to fashionable alligators.

New species of Triassic-era crocodile-like reptile unearthed in Brazil
Stenoscelida aurantiacus fossil. Credit: Rodrigo Temp Müller

The scientists take note that the fossil was in really great problem, which authorized for figuring out leg constructions that have been very similar to a lot of of all those found in dinosaurs. The muscle mass fixation points, they level out, advise the creature had been extremely sturdy.

Extra information:
Rodrigo Temp Müller et al, A new proterochampsid (Archosauriformes: Proterochampsia) from the Late Triassic of southern Brazil and the emergence of archosaurian hind limb features, Journal of Systematic Palaeontology (2022). DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2022.2128913

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New species of Triassic-era crocodile-like reptile unearthed in Brazil (2022, November 16)
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