Pseudopalatus


Pseudopalatus buceros
Female and Male Phytosaurs
Pronunciation: SOO-do-pa-LAY-tus byoo-SAIR-os
Meaning: From Greek pseudos, "false" and Latin palatus, "palate"
Size: 9.8-13.1 feet/3-4 meters long
Diet: Meat Eater
Age: Late Triassic (205 million years ago)
Specimen Number: NMMNH P-31292, P-50040
Location: Rio Arriba County, New Mexico
Image By: David Baccadutre
Date: Spring 2008

Phytosaurs look remarkably like crocodiles, but the groups of reptiles are only distantly related to each other. The easiest way to distinguish a phytosaur from a crocodile is the location of the nostrils. On the crocodile, they are at the tip of the snout, but on a phytosaur they are well back on the snout, near the eyes. Pseudopalatus became extinct during the Triassic.