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the importance of Quianosuchus

I ran across* Quianosuchus yesterday at the Hairy Museum of Paleontology and wondered what it was and why nobody had ever mentioned it before on the dino list.

It's got a long rostrum, a dorsally placed naris and an unusually broad scapula. Neural spines are high. Neck is long. Hands are missing. Feet are small and all five toes seem to be represented, but, unfortunately, not in their entirety.

Plugging what is shown online in the excellent line drawing, Quianosuchus nests as the sister taxon to Ticinosuchus, which begets aeotosaurs. Their common ancestor was a sister to Vjushkovia. Q also nests just below Turfanosuchus, the last known common ancestor of crocs and dinos. That makes Turfanosuchus THE basal archosaur, or very close to it. Quianosuchus ain't that far away and it's more completely known.

With Quianosuchus, the lineage leading toward dinosaurs has just gotten bushier. And its nice to know that none of the metatarsals are reduced in diameter. That little fact has big implications for Irmis's so-called "dinosauromorphs."

More brewing.

David Peters
St. Louis

* http://www.hmnh.org/archives/category/mesozoic/triassic/page/2/