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You heard it here first… four years ago. Diandongosuchus is a stem phytosaur.

Thursday, October 27, 2016 11:26
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(Before It's News)

WordPress.com timestamps every post
This one comes from August 29, 2012.Diandongosuchus. Not a basal poposauroid. A basal phytosaur.” Click here to see the original discovery and post. Click here to see the ReptileEvolution.com page on Diandongosuchus (Fig. 1). Click here to see the nesting of Diandongosuchus in the large reptile tree.

Diandongosuchus nests as a basal phytosaur when choristoderes and basal younginoids are included, far from Qianosuchus, which also does not nest with poposaurs, which are all bipedal (or formerly bipedal) herbivores, a far cry from Diandongosuchus.

Figure 1. Diandongosuchus nests as a basal phytosaur when choristoderes and basal younginoids are included, far from Qianosuchus, which also does not nest with poposaurs, which are all bipedal (or formerly bipedal) herbivores, a far cry from Diandongosuchus.

Today, delivering a SVP abstract, Stocker et al. report
“… A recently described taxon from the Ladinian of China, Diandongosuchus, was proposed as a poposauroid largely because of similarities (e.g., premaxillary elongation) to the basal form Qianosuchus. We reassessed the systematics of Diandongosuchus within an extensive analysis of archosauriform phylogenetic relationships and show that Diandongosuchus is not a poposauroid, but is the sister taxon to all phytosaurs. First-hand evaluation of Diandongosuchus reveals an interdigitated premaxilla-maxilla suture, wide distal end of the quadrate, broad postorbital-squamosal bar, hooked coracoid, broad interclavicle, and backswept scapula, all apomorphies of Late Triassic phytosaurs. Our reinterpretation of Diandongosuchus as a phytosaur indicates that the postcranial modifications of phytosaurs occurred well prior to rostral elongation, supports that the clade was located across Pangea, and hypothesizes saltwater tolerance….”

Since some things cannot be discovered twice
I thought this might interest the readers of PterosaurHeresies that some things done here are later confirmed by other workers when they expand their taxon lists. Not sure how I feel about the Stocker team claiming credit for this…

You’ll note
the Stocker team could have read about their ‘reinterpretation” at any time over the past four years by googling “Diandongosuchus“. Not sure how long it will take Wikipedia to catch up. As I write this on the 26th, Wiki is respecting the SVP embargo.

BTW
the Stocker team thesis on the origin of the long snout on phytosaurs can be traced beyond Diandongosuchus to its ancestry within the wide variety of Proterosuchus, Elaphrosuchus and Chasmatosaurus specimens in the LRT. It’s a powerful tool, available free to everyone.

Not sure if there will be any credit given for this
from Dr. Naish after all the discredit heaped upon ReptileEvolution.com earlier. This is what some would call vindication, and others would call confirmation, of a tested hypothesis of interrelationships. Test your enigmas by expanding your taxon inclusion lists and let’s see how many other confirmations (and refutations if they arise) we can find together.

References
Stocker MR, Nesbitt SJ, Zhao L-J, Wu X-C and Li C 2016. Mosaic evolution in phytosauria: the origin of longsnouted morphologies based on a complete skeleton of a phytosaur from the Middle Triassic of China. Abstracts of the Society of Vertebtate Paleontology meeting 2016.

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