STL Science Center

STL Science Center

17 March 2016

Prestosuchus In Our Minds

Prestosuchus was a beastly Rauisuchian. Reminiscent of a bulldog type body plan in many ways and crocodilian in many others, the strange archosaur has caught the imagination and attentions of many fossil enthusiasts for a wide variety of reasons. This has led to a significant collection of literature and appearances of the archosaur in books, multiple illustrations, and a variety of different roles in documentaries. Some of these roles have not been outright portrayal, but discussion as a member of a very important group of animals early in archosaur evolution as well as being in a position along the trunk of a the tree of an extant group of animals has caused Prestosuchus to be a very well followed animal. Perhaps the reason that Prestosuchus is as popular as it is has to do with the fact that it is often portrayed as a terrestrial crocodile of the Triassic, but I am personally of the opinion that, all reasons above aside, Prestosuchus is popular because we have a rather robust history of study of the organism. Also, it is a large crocodile-esque animal that was capable of eating dinosaurs; small and early dinosaurs, but anything eating dinosaurs tends to amaze people because of the perceptions tied to the title "dinosaur".

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