Cool Dino Facts Wiki

Saurosuchus galilei (large ones) and ornithosuchids Venaticosuchus rusconii (small fleeing ones) are pseudosuchians. There is also a dead rhynchosaur and herrerasaurid dinosaurs in the image.

Pseudosuchians (Pseudosuchia) are archosaurs that include modern crocodilians and their extinct relatives. The name "Pseudosuchia" means "false crocodiles" and that makes it a bit odd because crocodiles are pseudosuchians too.

The group name Pseudosuchia was originally given to a group of superficially crocodile-like prehistoric animals from Triassic period, but it was later used to refer the crocodilian-line archosaurs when it was realized that crocodilian descended from some of these Triassic animals.

The name Crurotarsi was used earlier to refer the crocodilian-line archosaurs but now it seems that members of Crurotarsi, the phytosaurs are as closely related to dinosaurs as they are to crocodilians so Crurotarsi does actually include all archosaurs and Phytosauria.

Pseudosuchian rule during Triassic[]

Pseudosuchians appeared during Early Triassic and soon they taked over the niches left from therapsids that went extinct in Permian–Triassic mass extinction or the Great Dying. They ruled ruled the world during most Triassic, but later on the dinosaurs were also diversifying.

Large pseudosuchians dissappeared in the end Triassic extinction and after that dinosaurs became the dominant land animals. Only pseudosuchians that survived the extinction were the ancestors of modern crocodilians and the Sphenosuchia. More crocodile-like forms of Pseudosuchia appeared during the time of the dinosaurs.

Pseudosuchian groups[]

  • Ornithosuchidae
  • Suchia
    • Aetosauria (aetosaurs)
      • Aetosaurinae
      • Desmatosuchinae
    • Rauisuchia (rauisuchians)
      • Poposauroidea
        • Ctenosauriscidae (Arizonasaurus etc.)
        • Poposauridae
        • Lotosauridae
        • Shuvosauridae (dinosaur-like pseudosuchians, Effigia etc.)
      • Rauisuchidae
      • Crocodylomorpha
        • Sphenosuchia
        • Gobiosuchidae
        • Protosuchidae
          • Mesoeucrocodylia
            • Thalattosuchia (marine crocodiles)
            • Notosuchia (unusual crocodylomorphs)
            • Neosuchia
              • Crocodilia (crocodilians)