Proterochampsia: An Endemic Archosauriform Clade from South America
María Jimena Trotteyn, Andrea B. Arcucci, Tiago Raugust, 2013. "Proterochampsia: An Endemic Archosauriform Clade from South America", Anatomy, Phylogeny and Palaeobiology of Early Archosaurs and their Kin, S. J. Nesbitt, J. B. Desojo, R. B. Irmis
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Proterochampsia is a monophyletic group of crocodile-like archosauriforms currently endemic to the late Middle and early Late Triassic of South America considered as one of the potential successive sister-taxa of the crown group Archosauria. The proterochampsians come from the Ischigualasto-Villa Unión Basin in the west of Argentina and the Parana Basin in the south of Brazil. The traditional composition of the group includes the genera Cerritosaurus Price 1946, Proterochampsa Reig 1959 (with two species: P. barrionuevoi in Argentina and P. nodosa Barberena 1982 in Brazil), Chanaresuchus Romer (with two species from Argentina: C. bonapartei Romer and C. ischigualastensis Trotteyn et al. 2012), Gualosuchus reigi Romer 1971 and Tropidosuchus romeri Arcucci 1990. After a precladistic history of confusion about their relationships with crocodilians, in the last 20 years new discoveries of taxa, and more systematic and phylogenetic studies, have clarified their position as non-archosaurian archosauriforms and their relationships with other Triassic archosaurs.
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Archosaurs, an important reptile group that includes today’s crocodiles and birds, arose during the Triassic in the aftermath of the greatest mass extinction of all time. In the last 20 years, our understanding of the early evolution of the group has improved substantially with the discovery of new fossils and species of early archosaurs and their closest relatives, a better understanding of the relationships of these animals, and new insights into their palaeobiology. In order to synthesize these new data, researchers of early archosaurs from around the world met at the first symposium of early archosaur evolution at the IV Congreso Latinoamericano de Paleontología de Vertebrados (September 2011) in San Juan, Argentina. This symposium facilitated collaboration and strove to paint a better understanding of these extraordinary animals. The resultant body of work is a state-of-the-art examination of early archosaur groups and their close relatives including historical, anatomical, biogeographical, evolutionary and palaeobiological data. This contribution furthers our knowledge of the anatomy, relationships, and palaeobiology of species-level taxa as well as more global patterns of archosaur evolution during the Triassic.