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Crocodilia

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Crocodilians
Fossil range: Cretaceous - Recent
84-0 Ma
Crocodile Found in Messel Pit Fossil Site
Crocodilian fossil found in the Messel Pit fossil site.
Scientific classification

Class:

Reptilia

Subclass:

Diapsida

Infraclass:

Archosauromorpha

(Unranked) :

Crurotarsi

Superorder:

Crocodylomorpha

Order:

Crocodilia Owen, 1842

Families:

See below for prehistoric taxa

Crocodilia (or Crocodylia) is an order of large reptiles that appeared about 84 million years ago in the late Cretaceous Period (Campanian stage). They are the closest living relatives of birds, as the two groups are the only known survivors of the Archosauria.[1] Members of the crocodilian stem group, the clade Crurotarsi, appeared about 220 million years ago in the Triassic Period and exhibited a wide diversity of forms during the Mesozoic Era.

Evolution and classificationEdit

Eusuchia, a modern clade which includes the crown group Crocodilia, first appeared in the Lower Cretaceous of Europe. Isisfordia duncani lived approximately 95 to 98 million years ago, during the Cenomanian epoch of the Upper Cretaceous. Isisfordia is the second oldest known eusuchian, and the earliest crocodylomorph yet found in Australia. Eusuchians underwent a mass radiation during the Late Cretaceous and the Paleogene, in which they evolved into numerous forms, such as semi-aquatic dinosaur-eating species (Deinosuchus); hooved, terrestrial carnivores (Pristichampsus), and 'hatchet'-shaped skulled forms (Baru).

TaxonomyEdit

PhylogenyEdit

Cladogram after Brochu (1997).

Eusuchia

  ├──Hylaeochampsa
  └──┬──Allodaposuchus
     └──Crocodilia
          ├──Gavialoidea
          │     ├──Eothoracosaurus
          │     └──┬──Thoracosaurus
          │        └──┬──Argochampsa
          │           ├──Eosuchus
          │           └──Gavialidae
          └──┬──Borealosuchus
             └──┬──Pristichampsus
                └──Brevirostres
                    ├──Alligatoroidea
                    │   ├──Leidyosuchus
                    │   ├─?Deinosuchus
                    │   └──Globidonta
                    │       ├──Stangerochampsa
                    │       ├──Brachychampsa
                    │       └──Alligatoridae
                    └──Crocodyloidea
                        ├──Prodiplocynodon
                        └──┬──Asiatosuchus
                           └──┬──Brachyuranochampsa
                              └──┬──Harpacochampsa
                                 └──Crocodylidae

ReferencesEdit


External linksEdit

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