New information on the anatomy and histology of Gracilisuchus stipanicicorum (Archosauria: Pseudosuchia) from the Chañares Formation (early Carnian), Argentina

Agustina LECUONA, Julia Brenda DESOJO & Ignacio Alejandro CERDA

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 19 (3) - Pages 40-62

Published on 02 September 2020

Gracilisuchus stipanicicorum Romer, 1972 is a basal suchian from the Late Triassic Chañares Formation (Argentina), nested in the recently erected Gracilisuchidae, along with Turfanosuchus dabanensis Young, 1973 and Yonghesuchus sangbiensis Wu et al., 2001 from China. The six known specimens of Gracilisuchus Romer, 1972 preserve most of the skeleton, lacking only most of the shoulder girdle and forelimb. Our latest fieldwork has recovered two specimens that preserve previously unknown elements, including the humerus, radius, and ulna, as well as the femur, presacral vertebrae, and paramedian osteoderms. The femur and osteoderms were histologically sectioned, which has never been done for Gracilisuchidae. The anatomical analysis revealed characters in the new elements that improve our understanding of the anatomy of Gracilisuchus. Bone histology revealed that the specimen CRILAR PV 490 died before reaching somatic maturity and that growth was relatively slow compared to other pseudosuchians. This study increases the knowledge of the anatomy of Gracilisuchus and represents a new step towards a broader understanding of Gracilisuchidae and basal suchian clades.


Chañares Formation, Triassic, Pseudosuchia, Gracilisuchidae, Bone Histology, Lamellar bone tissue

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