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Baurusuchid Croc From The Cretaceous Of Brazil

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Pedro L. Godoy, Felipe C. Montefeltro, Mark A. Norell & Max C. Langer (2014)An Additional Baurusuchid from the Cretaceous of Brazil with Evidenceof Interspecific Predation among Crocodyliformes.PLoS ONE 9(5): e97138.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097138

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A new Baurusuchidae (Crocodyliformes, Mesoeucrocodylia), Aplestosuchussordidus, is described based on a nearly complete skeleton collectedin deposits of the Adamantina Formation (Bauru Group, Late Cretaceous)of Brazil. The nesting of the new taxon within Baurusuchidae can beensured based on several exclusive skull features of this clade, suchas the quadrate depression, medial approximation of the prefrontals,rostral extension of palatines (not reaching the level of the rostralmargin of suborbital fenestrae), cylindrical dorsal portion ofpalatine bar, ridge on the ectopterygoid-jugal articulation, andsupraoccipital with restricted thin transversal exposure in thecaudalmost part of the skull roof. A newly proposed phylogeny ofBaurusuchidae encompasses A. sordidus and recently described forms,suggesting its sixter-taxon relationship to Baurusuchus albertoi,within Baurusuchinae. Additionally, the remains of a sphagesauridcrocodyliform were preserved in the abdominal cavity of the newbaurusuchid. Direct fossil evidence of behavioral interaction amongfossil crocodyliforms is rare and mostly restricted to bite marksresulting from predation, as well as possible conspecific male-to-maleaggression. This is the first time that a direct and unmistakenevidence of predation between different taxa of this group is recordedas fossils. This discovery confirms that baurusuchids were toppredators of their time, with sphagesaurids occupying a lower trophicposition, possibly with a more generalist diet.

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