New Osteological and Phylogenetic Review of the Triassic Loricatan Prestosuchus chiniquensis from Brazil

Roberto-Da-Silva, L., Müller , R. T., Gallo de França, M. A., Cabreira, S. F., and Dias-Da-Silva, S. 2018. An impressive skeleton of the giant top predator Prestosuchus chiniquensis (Pseudosuchia: Loricata) from the Triassic of Southern Brazil, with phylogenetic remarks. Historical Biology (Early Online).

Abstract - In the present contribution, we aim to present the osteology of ‘ULBRA-PVT-281’, which comprises the best-preserved skeleton of Prestosuchus chiniquensis ever found. ULBRA-PVT-281 combines the morphology of two classic specimens referred to P. chiniquensis, UFRGS-PV-0156-T and UFRGSPV- 0152-T, reunited in a single operational taxonomic unit (OTU) in previous phylogenetic studies. Therefore, the new specimen reinforces the combination of both specimens. We performed a phylogenetic analysis, combining the information of these three specimens plus braincase data from a fourth specimen, UFRGS-PV-0629-T, into a new P. chiniquensis terminal taxon. Moreover, our analysis also included some new taxa potentially related to P. chiniquensis. As a result, we found a topology slightly distinct from previous studies, where Ticinosuchus ferox is the basalmost member of Loricata, which also includes the new combined P. chiniquensis. Our results place P. chiniquensis, Luperosuchus fractus, and Saurosuchus galilei distributed in a pectinate paraphyletic pattern towards Crocodylomorpha. On the other hand, a constrained analysis forcing the monophyly of these taxa demands just a single extra step. Therefore, both scenarios are plausible and agree with the placement of P. chiniquensis within Loricata, whereas T. ferox nests in Loricata only in the unconstrained analysis.

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