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Re: Thalattoarchon, giant ichthyosaur from Middle Triassic of Nevada

I agree. The expression "apex predator" does not refer to size, just to the relative position of an animal in the food chain. Which means that any predator standing at the top of a food chain can be an apex predator (be a *Tyrannosaurus*, a "Meganeura").

In this case, I saw nothing about the 3 to 4 meters long actinistians and hybodonts that were found in the Early Triassic of Svalbard. Though I do think they qualify as (large) apex predators.

Regarding terrestrial ecosystems, David mentioned *Erythrosuchus*, but we shouldn't forget Middle Triassic suchians (e.g., *Ticinosuchus*, *Arizonasaurus*, *Qianosuchus*, etc)...

Best wishes,

Le 08/01/2013 00:49, Anthony Docimo a écrit :

Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2013 23:44:55 +0100

This find also indicates that the biotic recovery in the marine realm
may have occurred faster compared with terrestrial ecosystems, where
the first apex predators may not have evolved before the Carnian.

Um, doesn't "apex predator" just mean "eats other species, no other species eats 
it"?  (so there's always an apex predator)

Or do they mean something else/in addition?  (first megafaunal apex predator, 

"As a Professor of Science, I assure you we did in fact evolve from filthy monkey men." Hubert J. Farnworth.