DOI: 10.1111/joa.13937 ISSN: 0021-8782

Palaeobiological inferences of “rauisuchians” Fasolasuchus tenax (Los Colorados Fm., Argentina) and Prestosuchus chiniquensis (Santa Maria Super sequence, Brazil) from the Middle–Upper Triassic of South America based on microstructural

Denis A. Ponce, Torsten M. Scheyer, Ignacio A. Cerda, Julia B. Desojo
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Histology
  • Anatomy


“Rauisuchia” is a non‐monophyletic group of quadrupedal and carnivorous pseudosuchians that inhabited the entire world during the Middle–Upper Triassic period (Anisian/Ladinian–Rhaetian). In South America, “rauisuchians” reached the largest sizes among continental carnivores. Despite their important ecological role, some aspects of their palaeobiology have been poorly examined. Here, we study appendicular bones, dorsal ribs and osteoderms of two genera, the Argentinean Fasolasuchus tenax (PVL 3850, holotype) and the Brazilian Prestosuchus chiniquensis (SNSB‐BSPG AS XXV) respectively. The femur of F. tenax is formed by laminar fibrolamellar bone, which is composed of non‐fully monorefringent woven‐fibred matrix and primary osteons; the dorsal rib has a Haversian bone composition with an external fundamental system recorded and the osteoderm is formed by well‐organised parallel‐fibred bone. The femur, humerus and fibula of P. chiniquensis are mostly composed of strongly arranged parallel‐fibred bone and a laminar vascularisation. The minimal ages obtained correspond to 9 years for F. tenax (based on the maximum number of growth marks in the osteoderm) and 4 years for P. chiniquensis (obtained from the highest count of growth marks in the femur and in the humerus). F. tenax attained somatic and skeletal maturity, while P. chiniquensis was near to reaching skeletal and sexual maturity, but it was somatically immature. The overall rapid growth rate and the high and uniform vascularisation seems to imply that these features are common in most of “rauisuchians”, except in P. chiniquensis.

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