Rauisuchidae is a group of large (up to 6 metres (20 ft) or more) predatory Triassic archosaurs. There is some disagreement over which genera should be included in Rauisuchidae and which should be in the related Prestosuchidae and Poposauridae, and indeed whether these should even be thought of as separate valid families. Rauisuchids occurred throughout much of the Triassic, and may have first occurred in the Early Triassic if some archosaurian taxa such as Scythosuchus and Tsylmosuchus are considered to be within the family.[1]

Temporal range: MiddleLate Triassic Possible Early Triassic record
Mounted skeleton of Postosuchus kirkpatricki in the Museum of Texas Tech University
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Clade: Pseudosuchia
Clade: Loricata
Family: Rauisuchidae
Huene, 1942

An early cladistic analysis of crocodylotarsan (pseudosuchian) archosaurs included Lotosaurus, Fasolasuchus, Rauisuchus, and "the Kupferzell rauisuchid" (later called Batrachotomus) within Rauisuchidae.[2] However, a later study found that Batrachotomus was a more basal pseudosuchian only slightly more "advanced" than Prestosuchus.[3] In addition, the toothless Lotosaurus has been found to be more closely related to the Ctenosauriscidae, a clade of poposauroids with sails on their backs.[4]

Two genera previously classified as poposaurids, are in fact rauisuchids. These include Teratosaurus[5][6] and Postosuchus.[7]


Genus Status Age Location Unit Notes Images


Valid Late Triassic   Morocco Named for the Moroccan fossil site where it was discovered, the Argana Basin. Its phylogenetic placement is uncertain.


Valid Anisian   China May be a chimera of fossils from the erythrosuchid Shansisuchus and an indeterminate archosaur.


Valid Ladinian   Russia Placement uncertain


Valid Carnian   Poland


Valid Late Triassic   US Chinle Formation

Newark Supergroup

One of the most well-known genera of Rauisuchidae  


Valid Carnian   Brazil Santa Maria Formation Placement uncertain


Valid Middle Triassic   Brazil
Scolotosuchus Valid Olenekian   Russia Lipovskaya Formation


Valid Norian -


  Germany Löwenstein Formation Once considered an early carnosaurian dinosaur  


Valid Late Triassic   India Tiki Formation Placement uncertain


Valid Olenekian   Russia Possibly one of the oldest archosaurs.


Valid Norian   US Chinle Formation


Valid Anisian   Russia May be an erythrosuchid


Valid Olenekian   Russia Placement uncertain


  1. ^ Gower, D.J.; Sennikov, A.G. (2003). "Early archosaurs from Russia". In Benton, M.J.; Shishkin, M.A.; Unwin, D.M. (eds.). The Age of Dinosaurs in Russia and Mongolia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 140–159.
  2. ^ Parrish JM. 1993. Phylogeny of the Crocodylotarsi, with reference to archosaurian and crurotarsan monophyly. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 13: 287-308.
  3. ^ Gower DJ. 2002. Braincase evolution in suchian archosaurs: evidence from the rauisuchian Batrachotomus. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 136: 49-76.
  4. ^ Nesbitt SJ. 2005. Osteology of the Middle Triassic pseudosuchian archosaur Arizonasaurus babbitti. Historical Biology 17: 19-47.
  5. ^ Long RA, Murry PA. 1995. Late Triassic (Carnian and Norian) tetrapods from the Southwestern United States. New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Bulletin 4: 1-254.
  6. ^ Galton PM, Walker AD. 1996. Bromsgroveia from the Middle Triassic of England, the earliest record of a poposaurid thecodontian reptile (Archosauria: Rauisuchia). Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen 201 (3): 303-325.
  7. ^ Weinbaum JC, Hungerbühler A. 2007. A revision of Poposaurus gracilis (Archosauria: Suchia) based on two new specimens from the Late Triassic of the southwestern U.S.A. Paläontologische Zeitschrift 81(2):131-145.

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