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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fossil range:
Lower Cretaceous-Upper Cretaceous, 125–65 Ma
Block containing multiple specimens of A. wegeneri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Subclass: Diapsida
Infraclass: Archosauromorpha
(unranked): Mesoeucrocodylia
Superorder: Crocodylomorpha
Suborder: Notosuchia
Genus: Araripesuchus
Price, 1959
  • A. gomesii Price, 1959 (type)
  • A. wegeneri Buffetaut, 1981
  • A. patagonicus Ortega et al., 2000
  • A. buitreraensis Pol & Apesteguia, 2005
  • A. tsangatsangana Turner, 2006
  • A. rattoides Sereno & Larsson, 2009

Araripesuchus is a genus of extinct crocodilian whose species existed during the Cretaceous period of the late Mesozoic era some 125 to 65 million years ago.[1][2] They are generally considered to be notosuchians (belonging to the clade Mesoeucrocodylia), characterized by their varied teeth types and distinct skull elements.[3] Araripesuchus can be distinguished by their laterally bulged edges of the snout, with the bulge being the most prominent around the area of an enlarged maxillary tooth.[4] There are five valid species within this genus.


Discovery and history

Skull of A. wegeneri from different angles

The genus was coined in 1959 with the description of the type species Araripesuchus gomesii, a notosuchian crocodylian from the famed Santana Formation of Brazil. The holotype used to describe the genus, 423-R is currently in the care of the Divisao de Mineralogia e Geologia do Departamento Nacional da Producao Mineral in Rio de Janeiro. 423-R consists of a single skull articulating with part of a lower jaw. A more complete specimen, AMNH 24450 is held by the American Museum of Natural History.[3] A second species, Araripesuchus wegeneri was described in 1981. This species was discovered from Early Cretaceous deposits of Niger on the African continent, as opposed to the South American paleodistribution of the other species in the genus. The type specimen for the species, GDF-700 consisting of a few, fragmentary jaw elements, reside at the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris.[1] Araripesuchus patagonicus was described from a patagonian specimen (MUC-PV 269) in 2000.[5] Another species to be assigned to the genus, was Araripesuchus buitreraensis, described in 2005. This species was described from a single skull (MPCA-PV 235) retrieved from Late Cretaceous deposits in what is now modern day Argentina. At 130 millimeters, the skull is the largest Araripesuchus specimen discovered to date.[4] A fifth species, Araripesuchus tsangatsangana was described in 2006. This species' type specimen was discovered from latest Late Cretaceous deposits from the African island of Madagascar. Analysis of this specimen solidifies the position of A. wegneri as a member of the genus. A. tsangatsangana is the geologically youngest known of this genus.[2]


Restoration of adult A. wegeneri

There are currently six recognized species within the genus Araripesuchus: A. patagonicus,[5] A. buitreraensis,[4] A. tsangatsangana,[2] A. wegeneri,[1] A. rattoides[6] and the type species A. gomesii.[3] The placement of the first African species discovered, A. wegeneri was questioned for a while by various authors. Ortega et al. argued for the assignment of the errant species to another genus based on phylogenetic analysis[5] Further analysis, combined with the discovery of the second African species A. tsangatsangana has shed more light on the placement of A. wegeneri within the genus. When analyzed together, the African species support the inclusion of all five known species into the same genus.[2]

The genus was originally assigned by Price to the family Uruguaysuchidae in the original 1959 description. This classification was followed by Buffetaut in 1981 with the description of A. wegeneri also within the same family.[1] However, in their 2000 description of A. patagonicus, Ortega et al. avoided placing the species within the family. Instead, it was simply noted that Uruguaysuchus was a possible close relative of the genus.[5]


Artist's impression of A. patagonicus

Araripesuchus remains have been recovered from the continents of South America and Africa suggesting a Gondwanan origin for the evolution of the genus.[1] At around the time of Araripesuchus existence, South America and Africa were physically adjacent to each other. The various species evolved from the same stock in the general area, radiating outward from a yet-unidentified origin point. The presence of specimens from Madagascar further strengthens this evolutionary radiation model.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e Buffetaut, E. (1981). "Die biogeographische Geschichte der Krokodilier, mit Beschreibung einer neuen Art, Araripesuchus wegeneri". Geologische Rundschau 70 (2): 611–624. doi:10.1007/BF01822139.  
  2. ^ a b c d e Turner, A. H. (2006). "Osteology and phylogeny of a new species of Araripesuchus (Crocodyliformes: Mesoeucrocodylia) from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar". Historical Biology 18 (3): 255–369. doi:10.1080/08912960500516112.  
  3. ^ a b c Price, L. I. (1959). "Sobre um crocodilideo notossuquio do Cretacico Brasileiro". Boletim Divisao de Geolgia e Mineralogia Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) 118: 1–55.  
  4. ^ a b c Pol, Diego; Sebastian Apesteguia (October 2005). "New Araripesuchus Remains from the Early Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian–Turonian) or Patagonia". American Museum Novitates (American Museum of Natural History) 3490 (1): 1–38. doi:10.1206/0003-0082(2005)490[0001:NARFTE]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0003-0082. Retrieved 2008-12-27.  
  5. ^ a b c d Ortega, F. J.; Z. B. Gasparini, A. D. Buscalioni and J. O. Calvo (2000). "A new species of Araripesuchus (Crocodylomorpha, Mesoeucrocodylia) from the Lower Cretaceous of Patagonia (Argentina)". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 20 (1): 57–76. doi:10.1671/0272-4634(2000)020[0057:ANSOAC]2.0.CO;2.  
  6. ^ Sereno, P.C. and Larsson, H.C.E. (2009). "Cretaceous Crocodyliforms from the Sahara." ZooKeys, 28: 1-143. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.28.325[1]


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Araripesuchus wegeneri


Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Reptilia
Subclassis: Diapsida
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Divisio: Archosauria
Subdivisio: Crurotarsi
Superordo: Crocodylomorpha
Ordo: Crocodilia
Familia: †Uruguaysuchidae
Genus: Araripesuchus
Species: A. buitreraensis - A. gomesii - A. patagonicus - A. rattoides - A. tsangatsangana - A. wegeneri


Araripesuchus Price, 1959




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