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Hupehsuchus

Hupehsuchia is an order of enigmatic diapsid marine reptiles belonging to the class Sauropsida. The order was short-lasting, with a temporal range restricted to the Spathian age of the late Olenekian, spanning only a few million years of the Early Triassic. The order gets its name from Hubei Province, China, from which many specimens have been found. Of the entire order, Nanchangosauridae is the only recognized family. Hupehsuchians display an unusual combination of characteristics with other derived marine reptiles, including mosasaurs and ichthyosaurs, including polydactyly, narrow skull, and vivipary. The order consists of two genera, Hupehsuchus and Nanchangosaurus, of which, the former is the type genus. Determining the exact classification and phylogeny of this group remains difficult, and may be attributed to the limited knowledge of the fossil record of diapsid reptiles in the Late Permian and Early Triassic, as well as the great amount of convergence exhibited by secondarily aquatic reptiles. (Read more...)


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Paul Sereno is an American paleontologist who is the discoverer of several new dinosaur species on several continents. He has conducted excavations at sites as varied as Inner Mongolia, Argentina, Morocco and Niger. He is a professor at the University of Chicago and a National Geographic "explorer-in-residence." Sereno's most widely publicized discovery is that of a nearly complete specimen of Sarcosuchus imperator (popularly known as SuperCroc) at Gadoufaoua in the Tenere desert of Niger. Other major discoveries include Eoraptor - the oldest known dinosaur fossil, Jobaria, the first good skull of Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis, Afrovenator, Suchomimus and the African pterosaur. (Read more...)

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"It is well known, that on the Ohio, and in many parts of America further north, tusks, grinders, and skeletons of unparalleled magnitude are found in great numbers, some lying on the surface of the earth, and some a little below it ... But to whatever animal we ascribe these remains, it is certain that such a one has existed in America, and that it has been the largest of all terrestrial beings."
—U.S. President Thomas Jefferson describing the bones at Haynes cave. Notes on the State of Virginia (1782), 71, 77.


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Pancrocodylia diversity

The Crurotarsi ("cross-ankles") are a group of archosaurs, whose name was erected as a node-based clade by Paul Sereno in 1991 to supplant the old term, Pseudosuchia. Crurotarsi are by definition the sister group of the Avemetatarsalia (all forms closer to birds than crocodiles). Crurotarsi is one of the two primary daughter clades of the Archosauria. The skull is often massively built, especially in contrast to ornithodires; the snout narrow and sometimes tending to be elongate, the neck is short and strong, and the limb posture ranging from typically reptilian sprawling to dinosaur or mammal-like erect (although this is achieved in a different way to dinosaurs and mammals). The body is often protected by two or more rows of armored plates. Many crurotarsans reached large size: approximately around three meters or more in length.

Clockwise from top-left: Longosuchus meani (an aetosaur), Angistorhinus grandis, (a phytosaur), Saurosuchus galilei (a rauisuchian), Pedeticosaurus leviseuri (a sphenosuchian), Chenanisuchus lateroculi (a eusuchian), and Dakosaurus maximus (a thalattosuchian).

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