# Proterosuchus fergusi

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia >  Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauriformes

Reconstruction of Proterosuchus fergusi. [Illustration by Cedric Hunter; © Iziko Museums]

Proterosuchus fergusi, from the Early Triassic rocks of South Africa, is a pre-archosaur distantly related to the ancestors of modern crocodiles. Its skeleton shares many similarities with that of modern crocodiles, indicating that it led a similar lifestyle. It walked with its elbows-out in a semi-erect gait and was able to swing its long tail from side to side for swimming.

The long rows of simple cone-shaped teeth and the unusual down-turned “hook” at the end of the snout are interpreted as adaptations for catching and swallowing fish.

Text by Roger Smith


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