A New Ctenosauriscid from Eastern Europe, Bystrowisuchus flerovi May Represent the Oldest Known Crown-Group Archosaur

This paper describes a new ctenosauriscid archosaur from the Early Triassic of EuropeBystrowisuchus flerovi is based upon a series of fragmentary cervical vertebrae and a partial right ilium. It differs from other ctenosauriscids in the presence of expanded spine tables on the apices of the neural spines, and by possessing generally shorter neural spines. Based on these characters Sennikov considers Bystrowisuchus to be transitional between rauisuchids and ctenosauriscids. Note that Sennikov prefers to use traditional Linnaean systematics rather than cladistics (and still recognizes Thecodontia as a taxonomic entity). A new family Lotosauridae is erected and considered distinct from other ctenosauriscids [Ctenosauriscidae]. The type locality is dated latest Olenekian, which means that Bystrowisuchus  is probably older than Xilousuchus which is ambiguously from the latest Olenekian-early Anisian of China and therefore could represent the oldest record of a ctenosauriscid and crown-group archosaur.

Sennikov, A. G. 2012. The first ctenosauriscid (Reptilia: Archosauromorpha) from the Lower Triassic of Eastern Europe. Paleontological Journal [Paleontologicheskii Zhurnal] 46:499-511.

Abstract - A new Early Triassic thecodont from the Donskaya Luka locality is described. A new species and genus of Rauisuchidae, Bystrowisuchus flerovi gen. et sp. nov., the first East European and earliest known member of the family Ctenosauriscidae is established. The taxonomy and phylogeny of Rauisuchidae and their stratigraphical and geographical distribution in connection with new finds are discussed.


  1. It's pretty cool, I wish the material was more complete. Olenekian stem-crocodylians were inevitable. :)

  2. Fossils I mean, we have plenty of putative trackway evidence, I guess.

    Sorry for the double reply, wish I could edit my first post. :/

  3. I wonder how people like Sennikov rationalize their rejection of cladistics. Do they see it as some trend that will fade, or do they view themselves as the only scientists left with the correct phylogenetic philosophy...


Markup Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i>italic</i> = italic
- <a href="http://www.fieldofscience.com/">FoS</a> = FoS