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Decuriasuchus, new "gregarious" rauisuchian from Brazil



From: Ben Creisler
bh480@scn.org

I hesitate to post any serious story links today, but this one IS legit.

Marco Aurélio G. Franca, Jorge Ferigolo and Max C. Langer (2011)
Associated skeletons of a new middle Triassic ?Rauisuchia? from Brazil. 
Naturwissenschaften (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1007/s00114-011-0782-3
http://www.springerlink.com/content/431nmk50220u113q/

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. 

The name "Decuria" comes from the Roman term for a body of 10 soldiers. 

There are number of news stories in Portuguese about the find, some with a
photo:

http://noticias.uol.com.br/ultnot/cienciaesaude/ultimas-noticias/2011/03/31/
anunciada-descoberta-de-predador-mais-antigo-que-dinossauros-no-rs.jhtm

http://www.bemparana.com.br/index.php?n=176389&t=brasileiros-anunciam-descob
erta-de-predador-mais-antigo-que-dinossauros


http://www.diariodecanoas.com.br/site/noticias/geral,canal-8,ed-60,ct-214,cd
-312595.htm


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