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Osteoderms of Montealtosuchus (Crocodyliformes), Upper Cretaceous of Bauru Basin, Brazil

Ben Creisler

A new paper:

Sandra Aparecida Simionato Tavares, Fresia Ricardi-Branco & Ismar de
Souza Carvalho (2015)
Osteoderms of Montealtosuchus arrudacamposi (Crocodyliformes,
Peirosauridae) from the Turonian-Santonian (Upper Cretaceous) of Bauru
Basin, Brazil.
Cretaceous Research 56: 651-661


The skin of Crocodyliformes contains osteoderms of various sizes and
shapes, that constitute a dermal shield.
A well-preserved dermal shield of Montealtosuchus arrudacamposi from
the Turonian-Santonian of Brazil is described.
The dermal shield of Montealtosuchus served for protection and
thermoregulation, allowing terrestrial locomotion.


The skin of Crocodyliformes is characterized by osteoderms of various
sizes and shapes. It plays roles in defence, thermoregulation, sexual
attraction, calcium reserves, and locomotion. This study presents the
morphometric characteristics of osteoderms preserved in the nuchal,
dorsal, ventral and appendicular shield of Montealtosuchus
arrudacamposi, a Peirosauridae crocodyliform from the
Turonian-Santonian (Upper Cretaceous) of Adamantina Formation, Bauru
Basin, Brazil. The results of the analysis show that its dermal shield
had protective and thermoregulatory functions and a well-defined
mechanical function allowing terrestrial locomotion and enabling good
agility and capacity for movement.