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Postosuchus (pronounced POST-oh-SOOK-us) was a fast-running archosaur (a type of extinct reptile) that lived during the late Triassic period, over 200 million years ago, when dinosaurs were just appearing. Postosuchus was not a dinosaur; it was a reptile that was ancestral to the crocodiles.

Diet: Postosuchus was a carnivore (meat-eater); this top predator had no natural enemies.

When Postosuchus Lived: Postosuchus lived during the late Triassic period, roughly 222 to 215 million years ago.

Anatomy: Postosuchus had a long tail, a large, wide skull, and a narrow snout with many large, dagger-like teeth. It was a unusual quadrupedal reptile whose legs were columnar (and not sprawling out to the sides); the rear legs were longer than the front legs. It had five-toed, clawed feet. Postosuchus was about 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 m) long and about 6.5 ft (2 m) tall.

Fossils and Name: Postosuchus means "post crocodile"; it was named by Chatterjee in 1985. It was named for the Post Quarry in Texas, USA, where fossils were found. Fossils have also been found in the Petrified Forest in Arizona, USA, North America.

Classification: Class Reptilia (reptiles), Infraclass Archosauromorpha, Superorder Archosauria, Superfamily Rauisuchidae, Family Poposauridae, Genus Postosuchus.



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