Phytosaurs Scientific Classification
Phytosaurs Physical Characteristics
Phytosaurs Distribition


Phytosaurs are an extinct team of semi- marine reptiles that were greatly armored. They lived around the Late Triassic Duration around 200- 290 million years earlier. These animals were not dinosaurs, although the name appears similar. Instead, archosaurs are a team of reptiles such as crocodiles and pterosaurs which are flying reptiles. The phytosaur is discovered throughout The United States and Canada, Asia, Europe, north Africa, and Madagascar. No fossils have actually been found in Australia, Antarctica, or below- Saharan Africa.

Summary & Dimension

Phytosaur skull
The phytosaur had sharp teeth that they utilized to capture fish and had long, directed jaws.

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These animals looked like crocodiles and strolled ashore and swam in the water, making them semi- marine. Like crocodiles, the phytosaur had thick shield on their body together with rows of bony shield on their backs. The phytosaur had sharp teeth that they utilized to capture fish and had long, directed jaws. They had high crested nostrils that beinged in front of their eyes. These permitted them to take a breath and see over the waterline when they drift in it, similar to a crocodile.

Phytosaurs have similar behaviors to crocodiles. This results from their similar appearance. Most likely, they have the very same fleshy taste buds that crocodiles have. The phytosaur is incapable to take a breath when their mouth has lots of water.

The phytosaurs got to an optimum size of 35 feet. It is feasible that they expanded smaller sized or bigger than that depending upon the species. Up until now, there are just 2 visible phytosaur species. One found with a lengthy nose (dolichorostral), and one more with a more comprehensive nose (brachyrostral).

Diet – What DidPhytosaurs Eat?

Although the name phytosaur suggests “plant lizard”, they did not eat plants, yet instead consumed a predator diet. They are heterodonts, which suggests that they have noticeable fangs, and the back teeth are sharp. These teeth allowed them to cut via their target. The phytosaur exploited animals that came near the water. They would certainly wait with their sticking out eyes and nostrils from the water’s surface area waiting to strike.

Probably, these reptiles consumed fish and various other rapid marine target. The dolichorostral phytosaurs has a lengthy nose that is for capturing this sort of target. The wide- snouted brachyrostral phytosaur was fantastic for searching earthbound target.

Fossilized tooth proof of the various phytosaur species revealed that they either consumed a piscivore or predator diet. They took in either difficult or soft invertebrates depending upon the species’ teeth and jaw framework.

Environment – When and Where It lived

A lot of phytosaurs lived a semi- marine way of living, indicating that they would certainly reoccur from water to land. The Nicrosaurus species appears to be even more progressed to an earthbound way of living than the others. Though all species of the phytosaur were very first believed to be marine.

The Nicrosaurus had a lot more industrialized arm or legs that were loner. Additionally having a deep- established top jaw that permitted them to be effective earthbound seekers. A lot of dolichorostral sorts of phytosaurs did best in aquatic settings. Fossil proof revealed that the bones of a Mystriosuchus planirostris discovered in an aquatic setup passed away in either the sea or fresh water setting.

The fossils revealed they had arm or legs that assisted them paddle in the water. This would certainly make them much less adjusted to strolling ashore for long. The tail was additionally pressed which is thought to have actually assisted the animal move itself via the water and make it an excellent swimmer. Most of phytosaurs were semi- marine, yet a lot of species invested even more time in the water than others.

Hazards And Predators

The phytosaur was a killer itself that exploited various other terrestrial or marine animals. They are believed to have actually been ambush predators that pursued animals that boiled down to the river to consume. The precise predators and risks that these animals dealt with are unidentified, yet we do understand that their greatly armored bodies maintained them risk-free from a lot of strikes by predators.

Discoveries and Fossils

The phytosaur fossils are several of one of the most plentiful animal fossils in the Scared Woodland National forest situated in Arizona. The very first fossil of the phytosaur is unidentified. The mud- caked teeth creates scientists to think that the phytosaur was a plant eater, yet later on understood to be incorrect. G. Jaeger made this exploration in 1828. The old name “phytosauria” was explained by a German paleontologist called Hermann von Meyer back in 1861.

The various other species of phytosaurs were explained by Hermann von Meyer and Plieninger in 1844, together with Thomas Huxley’s exploration of the Indian species in 1875. This resulted in the common name for the reptile being phytosaur, and proof revealed that their sharp teeth and noticeable fangs were an indicator that the phytosaur was not a herbivore according to the very first exploration in 1828, yet instead an indicator of a predator diet.

The phytosaur fossils were found in India, Europe, The United States And Canada, Thailand, Brazil, Madagascar, and Greenland where they were discovered in very early Jurassic rocks, that makes it feasible that they prolonged their variety past the Triassic- Jurassic borders.

The very first crocodile- like fossils of the phytosaur found in southerly Africa remained in South Africa, Zimbabwe by Steve Edwards that brought the exploration to Teacher Paul Barret, and his American associates. This freshly found proof of phytosaur fossils reveals that these animals may be a lot more extensively dispersed than researchers and scientists initially thought.

Termination – When Did It Pass away Out?

The phytosaur lived throughout the Late Triassic Duration over 200 million years ago which is throughout the Carnian age. They are thought to have actually progressed from a crurotarsan forefather and went extinct at the end of the Triassic. There is a theory that completion- Triassic mass termination 200 million years earlier triggered mass fatalities in aquatic coral reefs and North American animals such as the phytosaur.

A few other theories of the phytosaur’s fatality consist of meteorites, worldwide warming, climbing water level, and also worldwide air conditioning. There has actually been no scientific proof yet to verify these concepts, yet the phytosaur did deficient out of the Triassic duration like several various other extinct animals.

The Triassic- Jurassic termination exterminated around 76% of aquatic and earthbound species, finishing around 20% of all taxonomic households. The mass terminations in charge of the phytosaur and several various other animals’ death can have additionally prevailed volcanic task discovered by researchers around the very same time these animals went extinct.

Similar Animals to The Phytosaur

There are couple of animals that look like or have physical resemblances to the phytosaur, yet right here are a couple of contemporary and extinct animals that have incredibly solid resemblances to these reptiles.

  • Crocodiles They share a similar body framework and way of living to the phytosaur.
  • Pterosaurs (extinct)- The earliest progressed animals understood to have actually progressed to have the capacity to fly with wings.
  • Dinosaurs (extinct)- Phytosaurs lived at the very same time as dinosaurs when they were still little and progressing, so there is a mild connection in between both animals.


  1. Wikipedia , Available here:
  2. University of California Museum , Available here:
  3. Fossil wiki, Available here:
  4. Science news, Available here:

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