The first occurrence of Chanaresuchus bonapartei Romer 1971 (Archosauriformes, Proterochampsia) of the Middle Triassic of Brazil from the Santacruzodon Assemblage Zone, Santa Maria Formation (Paraná Basin)
Tiago Raugust, Marcel Lacerda, Cesar Leandro Schultz, 2013. "The first occurrence of Chanaresuchus bonapartei Romer 1971 (Archosauriformes, Proterochampsia) of the Middle Triassic of Brazil from the Santacruzodon Assemblage Zone, Santa Maria Formation (Paraná Basin)", Anatomy, Phylogeny and Palaeobiology of Early Archosaurs and their Kin, S. J. Nesbitt, J. B. Desojo, R. B. Irmis
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Proterochampsians are basal archosauriforms whose record is restricted to the Middle and Upper Triassic in Argentina and Brazil. They are quadruped forms that present characteristics consistent with a semi-aquatic lifestyle, such as an anteroposteriorly elongated skull that is flattened dorsoventrally with dorsally located orbits. In 2003, specimen UFRGS-PV-0877-T was discovered at the Schoenstadt site, in the city of Santa Cruz do Sul (Santacruzodon Assemblage Zone, Santa Maria Formation). This specimen, consisting of disarticulated cranial elements (such as nasals, frontals, parietals, postorbitals, a left squamosal, a left pterygoid and a fragment of a right mandibular ramus that bears teeth) and postcranial elements (such as femora, the left tibia, one vertebral centrum and two rib fragments), is assigned to the ‘proterochampsian’ Chanaresuchus bonapartei Romer (1971). This assignment is based on the shared V-shaped frontal-parietal suture of the new specimen and Chanaresuchus bonapartei, which differs from the transversely aligned and zigzagged pattern of C. ischigualastensis.
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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.