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Champsosaurus lived in North America from the Late Cretaceous to the early Eocene

Champsosaurus livedin North America from the Late Cretaceous to the early Eocene

Temporal occurrence
Upper Triassic ( Norium ) to early Miocene
216.5 to approx. 20 million years
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • North America
Land vertebrates (Tetrapoda)
Amniotes (Amniota)
Scientific name
Cope , 1884

The Choristodera are aquatic , crocodile-like , extinct diapside reptiles that lived in Europe, Asia, and North America from the Upper Triassic to the early Miocene .

The animals had the very elongated snout typical of fish-eaters , as it occurs today in the gharial convergent . The characteristics of their skull anatomy include the displacement of the original upper of the two diapsid temples behind the lower and the strong lateral widening of the zygomatic arches . This adaptation in the cranial structure was used to provide space for strong jaw muscles. The ribs of the choristodera were thickened from pachyostosis . Her limbs were only weakly ossified, one sternum was missing. Probably the animals swam like today's crocodiles , by winding movements of body and tail and with legs pressed against the body. The largest Choristodera were three meters long.

Some Choristodera survived the mass extinction on the Cretaceous-Tertiary border and a species of the genus Lazarussuchus recently discovered in the Czech Republic appears to have lived in the early Miocene.


The systematic position of the Choristodera is uncertain. If they were previously assigned to the Lepidosauromorpha , today it is believed that they belonged to the Archosauromorpha as a primitive group only distantly related to the Archosaurs .

Monjurosuchus in the Hong Kong Science Museum


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Susan E. Evans, Jozef Klembara: A choristoderan reptile (Reptilia: Diapsida) from the Lower Miocene of Northwest Bohemia (Czech Republic). In: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Vol. 25, No. 1, 2005, ISSN  0272-4634 , pp. 171-184, doi : 10.1671 / 0272-4634 (2005) 025 [0171: ACRRDF] 2.0.CO; 2 .

Web links

Commons : Choristodera  - collection of images, videos and audio files