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Abstract

The osteology of an almost complete braincase of the rauisuchian archosaur Prestosuchus chiniquensis from the Middle Triassic of Brazil is described for first time, based on two specimens (UFRGS-PV-0629-T and UFRGS-PV-0156-T). A comparative description with other taxa of rauisuchians is presented that forms the basis of a phylogenetic analysis. To perform the phylogenetic analysis, we describe and discuss each character codification for a modified version of the recent matrices of Gower (2002), Gower & Nesbitt (2006) and Brusatte et al. (2010). The analysis resulted in two most parsimonious trees that differ from the topologies recovered by Gower (2002) in a few aspects within Rauisuchia, and Prestosuchus chiniquensis was unequivocally depicted as deeply nested within Pseudosuchia, as the sister taxon of Batrachotomus kuperferzellensis in both topologies, supported by a single synapomorphy: the reduced to small fissure of the post-temporal fenestra between parietal, supraoccipital and exoccipital-opisthotic.

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