Notosuchus (/noʊtəˈsjuːkəs/; 'southern crocodile') is an extinct genus of South American notosuchian crocodylomorph. It was terrestrial, living approximately 85 million years ago in the Coniacian or Santonian stages of the Late Cretaceous.[1]

Notosuchus was relatively small, reaching 1.5 m (5 ft) in length and a weight of 36 kg.[2] Remains have been found in the Bajo de la Carpa Formation in Patagonia, Argentina. First named in 1896, Notosuchus was the first known notosuchian.[3] The type species is N. terrestris. A second species, N. lepidus, was named in 1957.[4]

A paper published in 2008 by Fiorelli and Calvo described new remains of the type species N. terrestris.[5] In it, the authors suggested that the skull would have supported a short trunk, or "hog's snout" as well as fleshy upper and lower lips. The anteriorly directed nares and the absence of a bony nasal septum (which presumably indicates cartilaginous tissue serving its place) provide evidence for a trunk-like snout, while striations on the surface of the nasal bones and the lower jaw most likely acted as attachment points for the nasolabial muscles and the depressor muscle, respectively.[6] Additionally, the authors suggested that a lateral rim on the dentary as well as numerous aligned neurovascular foramina are evidence of soft cheek-like muscular tissue. The function of the trunk was likely used for searching for food by sniffing the ground in a manner similar to extant suids and peccaries, while the cheeks would aid in mastication by preventing food loss.



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