Project 436: P. M. O'Connor, J. J. W. Sertich, N. J. Stevens, E. M. Roberts, M. D. Gottfried, T. L. Hieronymus, Z. A. Jinnah, R. Ridgely, S. E. Ngasala, J. Temba. 2010. The evolution of mammal-like crocodyliforms in the Cretaceous Period of Gondwana. Nature. 466 (7307):748–751.
Specimen: † Pakasuchus kapalimai (RRBP:08631)
View: lateral


Fossil crocodyliforms discovered in recent years have revealed a level of morphological and ecological diversity not exhibited by extant members of the group. This diversity is particularly notable among taxa of the Cretaceous Period (144–65 million years ago) recovered from former Gondwanan landmasses. Here we report the discovery of a new species of Cretaceous notosuchian crocodyliform from the Rukwa Rift Basin of southwestern Tanzania. This small-bodied form deviates significantly from more typical crocodyliform craniodental morphologies, having a short, broad skull, robust lower jaw, and a dentition with relatively few teeth that nonetheless show marked heterodonty. The presence of morphologically complex, complementary upper and lower molariform teeth suggests a degree of crown–crown contact during jaw adduction that is unmatched among known crocodyliforms, paralleling the level of occlusal complexity seen in mammals and their extinct relatives. The presence of another small-bodied mammal-like crocodyliform in the Cretaceous of Gondwana indicates that notosuchians probably filled niches and inhabited ecomorphospace that were otherwise occupied by mammals on northern continents.

Read the article »

Project DOI: 10.7934/P436,
This project contains
  • 1 Media
  • 3 Documents
  • 1 Taxon
  • 1 Specimen
Total size of project's media files: 560.63k

Download Project SDD File
Currently Viewing:
MorphoBank Project 436

    This research
    supported by

    Authors' Institutions

    • Michigan State University

    • Ohio University

    • University of the Witwatersrand

    • Stony Brook University

    • James Cook University

    • Southern Utah University

    • Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy

    • University of Dar es Salaam

    • Tanzania Antiquities Unit


    member name taxa specimens media
    MorphoBank Curator
    Project Administrator
    Maureen Admin
    Full membership
    Patrick O'Connor
    Full membership

    Project has no matrices defined.

    Project views

    type number of views Individual items viewed (where applicable)
    Total project views23631
    Project overview4398
    Media views7404Media search (6313 views); M325483 (1091 views);
    Specimen list3498
    Taxon list2652
    Documents list2386
    Views for media list1965

    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project397
    Document downloads12Matrix (8 downloads); Character List (3 downloads); Copyright Permission (1 download);
    Project downloads382
    Media downloads3M325483 (3 downloads);