STL Science Center

STL Science Center

25 May 2016

Where It Lives

Sixteen collections of Araripesuchus remains are recorded in the Fossilworks database online. Fossilworks does not have all of the collections of the fossils presented there meaning that there are more collections of the fossils not recorded online of course. The site allows one to generate timelines of occurrence and allows for maps to be generated. The plots are basic, but being able to see where Araripesuchus remains have been recovered shows us a great deal about the general distribution of the taxa before they went extinct. As we can see from the map and the timeline, the many species of Araripesuchus are widely distributed across geography and time. The majority of the recorded remains are spread across Africa during the Cenomanian age of the Late Cretaceous. A number of the remains represent book ends of their specific as they have been recovered from the Cenomanian and the Aptian age at the end of the Early Cretaceous. Proposed errors (i.e. missing fossils) are represented here as one species at least has been recovered from the Maastrichtian age which ended with the end of the Cretaceous or, as we usually refer to this time period, the K-T extinction. Assuming some error, Araripesuchus may have even lived, however briefly, into the Paleogene era as a genus headed toward extinction. Unfortunately Araripesuchus is considered to be a dead-end genus with no surviving descendants and is on the sister branch to extant crocodilians; this depends on the tree that one is consulting and if others have a more preferred assignment for Araripesuchus that they would like to share please do so!

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