, 98:389

Associated skeletons of a new middle Triassic “Rauisuchia” from Brazil


  • Marco Aurélio G. França
    • Laboratório de Paleontologia de Ribeirão Preto, FFCLRPUniversidade de São Paulo
  • Jorge Ferigolo
    • Museu de Ciências Naturais, Fundação Zoobotânica do Rio Grande do Sul
    • Laboratório de Paleontologia de Ribeirão Preto, FFCLRPUniversidade de São Paulo
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00114-011-0782-3

Cite this article as:
França, M.A.G., Ferigolo, J. & Langer, M.C. Naturwissenschaften (2011) 98: 389. doi:10.1007/s00114-011-0782-3


For more than 30 million years, in early Mesozoic Pangea, “rauisuchian” archosaurs were the apex predators in most terrestrial ecosystems, but their biology and evolutionary history remain poorly understood. We describe a new “rauisuchian” based on ten individuals found in a single locality from the Middle Triassic (Ladinian) Santa Maria Formation of southern Brazil. Nine articulated and associated skeletons were discovered, three of which have nearly complete skulls. Along with sedimentological and taphonomic data, this suggests that those highly successful predators exhibited some kind of intraspecific interaction. Other monotaxic assemblages of Triassic archosaurs are Late Triassic (Norian-Rhaetian) in age, approximately 10 million years younger than the material described here. Indeed, the studied assemblage may represent the earliest evidence of gregariousness among archosaurs, adding to our knowledge on the origin of a behavior pattern typical of extant taxa.


Santa Maria FormationArchosauriaRauisuchiaBehaviorMiddle Triassic

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011