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 SUY for mid-October--Archosaurs!

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sbell



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PostSubject: SUY for mid-October--Archosaurs!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:45 pm

This is the first post for a mid-month Show-Us-Yours thread that I was asked to create, dedicated to prehistoric ‘archosaurs’—a group here meant to include a large group of reptiles that are now extinct (minus two notable groups).

Technically, ‘archosaurs’ can refer to the archosauromorpha, which is one of the two major groups of diapsid reptiles. It includes dinosaurs, birds, pterosaurs, crocodiles, and a large number of other extinct groups, and excludes the lepidosaurs, which include snakes, lizards, tuatara, and their extinct relatives.

Archosaur can also refer to just one crown group of archosauromorph—the archosauriformes—which would still include the above mentioned archosauromorphs and their closer relatives, but excludes a whole bunch of other ones. And then there is the Archosauria, which limits itself to only the most derived groups (the Pseudosuchia, the crocs and their direct relatives; and the Avemetarsalia, the dinos, birds & pterosaurs). So to keep it simple—this thread is for the non-dinos, non-pterosaurs, non-birds and, because they likely have their own thread (or even a forum). Plus maybe a few questionable or uncertain taxa, and a not-animal fossil genus! Crazy!

This thread will also leave out the modern, living crocodilian (the alligators, caimans, gharials and crocodiles) because there is a good chance they would have at least one thread of their own. That makes the group included here paraphyletic, but I don’t think it will hurt much. I’m not publishing a paper!

As a special note, some recent research indicates that turtles and their kin (Pantestudines) are a sister group to all of these other taxa within the Archosauromorpha—I’m also going to ignore them…because turtles can also have their own thread, and the few fossil versions of the group are odd enough to warrant their own time and place (it would be a short thread). Plus, some research still indicates a closer relationship to the lepidosaurs anyway.

There will be a lot of strange animals, some of which that don’t fit into neat groups easily. I’ll work with their taxonomy where I can! Also, the humans are roughly to scale, but not always exact.

ARCHOSAUROMORPHA

Choristodera
A group of somewhat gavial-like reptiles that lived from the mid-Jurassic to the Miocene. Primarily aquatic predators. Their position among diapsids is awkward and controversial, moving from early lepidosaurs to (currently) the sister group to the rest of the archosauromorphs.

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Champsosaurus The only commonly available figure from the Safari Prehistoric Crocodiles toob. It exists because I pushed for it during development! There are also some on Shapeways, but I don’t have them (yet). And yes, there is Safari Alligator (from the Alligators Alive toob) as well. In the Paleocene, the champsosaurs still coexisted alongside near-modern crocodiles like Borealosuchus.

Protorosauria
Another group that gives taxonomists headaches, protorosaurs are a diverse group of long-necked archosauromorphs from the Permian to late Triassic. Even the animals included in the group varies; overall, only one genus gets made with regularity (well, ever).

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L-R: All Tanystropheus. Starlux (short-necked FS40065, maybe a species other than T. longobardicus, the usual one?); Carnegie Collection 2007 repaint; Carnegie collection 2000 original; Dinotales S2

Trilophosauria
A Late Triassic group of large, lizard-like animals typified by unique skulls. There aren’t really any figures of them, but I have a weird lizard figure that kind of subs in for one! It’s important to the clade at the very least.

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Trilophosaurus bin figure from FUL, although it shows up in several other random sets (including Wild Republic)

Rhynchosauria
A strictly Triassic group of plant-eating archosauromorphs typified by distinct beaks that, in later forms, were powered by wide triangular heads.

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L-R: Bin figure Rhynchosaurus; Shapeways  Hyperodapedon; Dawn of the Dinosaurs Scaphonyx (may be a synonym of Hyperodapedon; Bin figure Rhynchosaurus

At this point, we reach the next divide—the clade of animals referred to as ARCHOSAURIFORMES.

Proterosuchidae
Currently, best described as the sister group to all of the other archisauriformes. They are superficially crocodile-like, but do not have the scuted plates down the back characteristic of the lineage including the crocodiles. They have a sprawling stance and a downward-turn in the tip of their snouts. They are known as fossils from the late Permian to the early Triassic.

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L-R: Wild Safari Prehistoric Crocodiles toob Chasmatosaurus; Yowies Lost Kingdom Tasmaniosaurus; DinoMagic ‘thecodont’ (a meaningless term), likely based on something basal like Proterosuchus.

incertae sedis
Closer related to the later archosauromorphs than the proterosuchids, these ones currently have their own branches along the phylogenetic tree.

Vancleavea
A difficult-to-classify archosauriform known from the late Triassic of North America. It was an aquatic animal with osteoderms over much of the back. The tail is deepened for swimming, but instead of modifications to the vertebra (like pretty much every other chordeat), the tail is flattened by specialized osteoderms, which is a unique physiology.

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Shapeways 3D printed model

Euparkeria
The sister-taxon to the ‘Crurotarsi’ which includes all of the rest of the Archosauriformes. It was a small reptile from the mid-Triassic of South Africa. It had longer hind- than fore-limbs and may have been able to walk bipedally on occasion, although more likely used a crocodile-like high-walk most of the time.

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L-R: Wild Safari Prehistoric Crocodiles toob; Starlux (both way oversized compared to the man!).

CRUROTARSI
A major group—and where the vast majority of figures and toys come from (especially considering that birds and crocodiles are both part of this clade, as well as dinosaurs and pterosaurs!).

Phytosaurs
The sister-clade to the rest of the crurotarsans, phytosaurs are very crocodile-like, with long toothy snouts. They can be distinguishable by their nostrils, which are placed directly in front of their eyes, in a bump, instead of at the tip of the snout (like modern crocs).

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L-R: QRF Survive-O-Saurus Phytosaurus; Rutiodon Wild Safari Prehistoric Crocodiles toob; Rutiodon

ARCHOSAURIA
The major clade—and where we can now split into the two major groups; one (Avemetatarsalia) leading to pterosaurs, birds and the other dinosaurs (which are being excluded from this thread completely); and the Pseudosuchia, leading to crocodiles and all of their extinct relatives.

PSEUDOSUCHIA

The group likely thought of as ‘archosaurs’, this one clad is incredibly diverse, but shares a number of common features including massive skulls with tapered snouts ; short and strong necks; at least two rows of protective plates along the back (sometimes reduced in later species)l and a stance varying from a sprawl to a fully upright stance. The actual relationships among the groups is up for debate. With one obvious exception, the group’s heyday was in the Triassic, with most groups diversifying and going extinct within the Triassic.

Ornithosuchids
A family of late Triassic reptiles. They are probably basal pseudosuchians to the rest of the group (but different authors have different findings). They may have been functionally bipedal, like Euparkeria. Many of the figures included here are ‘assumed’ or ‘assigned’ because they probably were not intended to be ornithosuchids, but given the heavy plates on their backs and bipedal stances, it makes more sense than as a theropod dinosaur (I believe that they are actually based on very old, very inaccurate drawings of megalosaurs).

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Larger figures L-R: Ornithosuchus: Hasbro Jurassic Park (blue version); Starlux

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Smaller ‘assumed’ figures L-R: Imperial Bin figures Ornithosuchus?, two colours; FUL Venaticosuchus?; Imperial Bin figure Ornithosuchus?

Aetosaurs
Possibly the most distinctive and derived of the Pseudosuchia, the aetosaurs are (probably) the sister group to the rest of the clade. They are typified by relatively small heads with upturned snouts; large, low bodies with plates along the back, belly and tail, sometimes with spikes laterally out of the body; and adaptations for herbivory (probably—some researchers suggest they were scavengers or insectivores). They are known from the late Triassic.

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L-R: All Desmatosuchus: Tedco Prehistoric Panorama; Wild Safari Prehistoric Crocodiles toob; small grey & brown surprise figures; Schleich Replicasaurus (probably about to scale with the explorer); Pink Iwako Eraser.

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Bullyland Paratypothorax

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QRF Survive-O-Saurus Stagonolepis

Rauisuchia
A large, possibly informal group or evolutionary grade that nevertheless has a bit of consistency in the overall appearance of most of the animals attributed to it (at least, those that are made as figures!). These reptiles grew to be quite large (4-6 metres long), often as the dominant predators in their regions. They are primarily carnivores with high, upright quadrupedal stances, although some are thought to have been bipedal.

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L-R: Larger Postosuchus figures: Nayab/Lontic; Wild Safari Dinos; Toyway WwD

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L-R: Smaller Rauisuchian figures: Primaeval Designs Saurosuchus; Wild Safari Prehistoric Crocodiles toob Postosuchus; Predators game Postosuchus; Dawn of the Dinosaurs Saurosuchus; Dawn of the Dinosaurs Fasolasuchus skeleton; DinoMagic Postosuchus; Panosh Teratosaurus?

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L-R: Other rauisuchians: Bullyland Arizonasaurus; Bullyland Batrachotomus (oh Bullyland—what happened to you?)

Ichnofossil!
I had mentioned a non-animal figure earlier, and this is where it probably belongs—a trackway of a large quadrupedal reptile from the Triassic of Germany. The model includes a speculative reptile that may have made the tracks, but make no mistake—the name Protochirotherium is an ichnogenus (formally recognized trace fossil), not an animal!

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Bullyland Protochirotherium

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Bullyland Protochirotherium and speculative rauisuchian track-maker.

CROCODYLOMORPHA
I may not be including modern crocodiles, but as with many modern animals, their prehistory is much more diverse! There are a number of lineages and clades within the crocodylomorphs. Beginning as small, lightly built reptiles in the Triassic, the crocodylomorphs were the only pseudosuchians to reach the Jurassic, and of course survive in some way to now (there is something strange that the only other group visited in this thread—the champsosaurs—are the only ones that also made it to the Paleogene!). Their diversity in form has included light runners, odd herbivores, giant predators and marine inhabitants. Most of these have yet to be made as models…

Sphenosuchians
A late Triassic to Late Jurassic group, the sphenosuchians were small, gracile reptiles. Many may have been bipedal.

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Starlux Saltoposuchus

Protosuchians
A Mesozoic group of crocodilomorphs, from the late Triassic to the late Cretaceous. This is another group of smaller reptiles, generally under 1 metre long. The group itself may be informal—in which case, the real age range may be Triassic to early Jurassic. Only one taxon has been made as a figure, and it fits this age range (and gives the group its name).

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L-R: Protosuchus: Starlux; Animal Planet ‘MicroKingdoms’ from Toys R Us

Thalattosuchians
After the above groups, there are several grades until we reach the ‘true’ crocodile clade, the Neosuchia (below). But I am not aware of any figures from those groups. So we skip over to this one—a group made up of marine crocodiles that ranged from the early Jurassic to the late Cretaceous. They are part of the Neosuchia, but are distinct enough to warrant their own little section.

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Back-Front: Giant thalattosaur species (small figures): Wild Safari Prehistoric Crocodiles toob Dakosaurus; Medicom ‘Monster of Lake Van Machimosaurus (identified by Eurasian region, huge size, and distinct presence of armored plating (a feature of teleosaurids), which the group that includes Dakosaurus (the metriorhynchids) don’t have (nor do mosasaurs, which would be most people’s first guess on that one).

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L-R: Smaller thalattosaur species (small figures): Dinotales Series 6 Version B Metriorhynchus; Wild Safari Prehistoric Marine Reptiles toob Suchodus (marked as Metriorhynchus but the figure is based on illustrations of Suchodus; but then Suchodus may be a junior synonym); Play Visions Prehistoric Marine Reptiles Metriorhynchus; Dinotales Series 6 Version A Metriorhynchus

And just in time for this post, we just learned about one more metriorhynchid figure that is coming out from Safari—no one (as of this writing) is definitely certain about the genus. Obviously, I don’t have a photo of my own yet—but I have this one from the preview! No idea about figure size, but it will be nice to have a larger figure from this group.

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So the race is on--who will get a photo of their own on here first!?

Neosuchia
The group that makes up the remainder of the crocodilomorphs. Originating in the early Jurassic, they obviously survive to the present, but as only one relict group compared to their Mesozoic diversity. I have not differentiated groups further here, as it just gets to hair splitting and taxonomic uncertainty (more so). This is the most diverse group (not even counting the thallatosaurs) and include giant predators, odd terrestrial hunters and even some strange herbivores. Most of these forms are not readily available as figures.

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L-R: Deinosuchus: Carnegie Collection; Schleich Replicasaurus (the good old days)

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Wild Safari Dinos Kaprosuchus

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L-R: Sarcosuchus” MojoFun dinos; CollectA Standard line dinosaurs; Wild Safari Prehistoric Crocodiles toob

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L-R: Small Neosuchian figures: Yowies Lost Kingdom Trilophosuchus, the ridge-headed mekosuchine; Yowies Lost Kingdom Quinkana; Wild Safari Prehistoric Crocodiles toob Pristichampsus; Wild Safari Prehistoric Crocodiles toob Montealtosuchus

So that is a lot—although barely even representative of the group! And yet, I know that there are more out there—and would like to see what other collections of other people look like! I’m not going to judge if anyone wants to throw in modern crocs, I just chose not to. So as the board says, it’s your turn to show us yours!

(side note—I actually took all new group photos for these. It was fun. And time consuming. But I actually learned a bunch about how the classifications have changed (no such thing as mesosuchians? Outrageous)).

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costicuba



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PostSubject: Re: SUY for mid-October--Archosaurs!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:31 pm

What a great opening of this SUY Applause
Soo many great models with amazing information :)

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PostSubject: Re: SUY for mid-October--Archosaurs!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:02 pm

This is almost incredible affraid

What fantastic topic !!! You did an enormous and wonderful job, - it is very, very beautyful and interesting Applause Applause

I will have to sit down one evening when I have plenty of time, and go through all the information here, and enjoy the beautyful pictures again and again study cheers study cheers Very Happy

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sbell



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PostSubject: Re: SUY for mid-October--Archosaurs!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:13 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
This is almost incredible affraid

What fantastic topic !!! You did an enormous and wonderful job, - it is very, very beautyful and interesting Applause Applause

I will have to sit down one evening when I have plenty of time, and go through all the information here, and enjoy the beautyful pictures again and again study cheers study cheers Very Happy

Thanks. It was in some ways a huge job--I am not as familiar with them as with early fishes, for example. And I was really not aware of the current changes and reclassifications! Which is part of the reason there is a mini-essay in the beginning, because I had to sort it all out.

But it did let me update my own database and get things sorted more appropriately! Plus, I got to take them all out again!

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PostSubject: Re: SUY for mid-October--Archosaurs!   Today at 5:32 pm

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