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Champsosaurus

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Champsosaurus
Fossil range: Late Cretaceous - Eocene
Champsosaurus BW
Restoration of Champsosaurus.
Scientific classification

Class

Sauropsida

Order

Choristodera

Family

Champsosauridae

Genus

Champsosaurus

Species

  • C. profundus (type)
  • C. albertensis
  • C. annectens
  • C. australis
  • C. brevicollis
  • C. gigas
  • C. laramiensis
  • C. lindoei
  • C. natator
  • C. tenuis
  • C. vaccinsulensis



Large williston champsosaurus

Champsosaurus skeleton.

Champsosaurus laramiensis

Champsosaurus laramiensis

Champsosaurus is an extinct genus of diapsid reptile belonging to the order Choristodera. It grew to about 1.50 m (5 ft) long.

DescriptionEdit

Champsosaurus resembled a gharial and, like gharials, hunted in rivers and swamps, catching fish with its long, tooth-lined jaws. It probably swam with lateral body movements, pinning its limbs against its body to increase its streamline, just like crocodiles and the Marine Iguana. Behind the eyes Champsosaurus's skull was very wide as powerful jaw muscles were attached here.

Its fossils have been found in North America (Alberta, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming) and Europe (Belgium and France)

DiscoveryEdit

Its fossils have been found in North America (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana, New Mexico, Texas,[4][5] and Wyoming) and Europe (Belgium and France), dating from the Upper Cretaceous to the mid Eocene. Its name means "crocodile lizard"; "Champso-" was taken from an Ancient Greek author's statement that "The Egyptians call the crocodiles χαμψαι [champsae]."

Neonate sized Champsosaurus have been documented in the scientific literature.

ReferencesEdit

D.Lambert, D.Naish and E.Wyse 2001, "Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and prehistoric life", p.77, Dorling Kindersley Limited, London. ISBN 0-7513-0955-9

Champsosaurus BW

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