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Re: Terrestrial crocodiles



----- Original Message -----
From: "Tracy Ford" <tlford@ix.netcom.com>
To: "Dinonet" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Sunday, September 24, 2000 2:12 AM
Subject: RE: Terrestrial crocodiles


> A new article by Rossmann describes
> Pristichampsus rolliantii as being bipedal, or partially. The scutes
> interlock and stiffen the back (according to Rossmann, I think, it's all
in
> German) and the claws are more like a bipedal animal than not.
> Rossmann, Torsten, 2000. Studies on Cenozoic crocodiles: 5. Biomechanical
> investigation on the postcranial skeleton of the Palaeogene crocodile
> Pristichampsus rollinatii (Eusuchia: Pristichampsidae). N. Jb. Geol.
> Paläont. Abh. 217, (3): 289-300.

In the meantime I've read that article. It states that the armor practically
served as an exoskeleton and that Pristichampsus was, because of that
exoskeleton, probably badly capable of sprawling, but well suited for
acceleration, including galloping and facultative bipedalism (the latter
only at high speeds: the center of gravity was in front of the pelvis).
Swimming abilities were low, as the tail looked like a dinosaur's -- round
in cross-section and without osteodermal crest (though an unpreserved dermal
one might have been present). The forelimbs had some tendency to
cursorialism, although that didn't go very far. Long-distance running is out
of the question. I'd imagine a maybe lion-like predator. -- Apart from the
relatively long limbs and the hoof-like unguals, Pristichampsus looks quite
ordinary for a crocodile.
Pristichampsus had a pan-Laurasian distribution.

> Sebosuchians
 Did you mean sebecosuchians? (About these I only know: 1. they existed, 2.
Paleogene of South America, 3. they were terrestrial carnivores, nothing
more...)