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Temporal range: Anisian, 245–244 Ma
Photograph (a) of specimen LPV 30280, which contains an fetus (c) and a perleidid fish (e)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Family: Tanystropheidae
Genus: Dinocephalosaurus
Li, 2003
D. orientalis
Binomial name
Dinocephalosaurus orientalis
Li, 2003

Dinocephalosaurus is a genus of long necked, aquatic Archosaurs which lived in the Triassic seas. Its fossils are found in 244 ± 1.3 million year old rocks.[1]

Didocephalosaurus means "terrible headed lizard". The first specimen found was just a skull, discovered near Xinmin in Guizhou Province, China in 2002. The second specimen found nearby, and was the head and much of the postcrainal skeleton, minus the tail. Dinocephalosaurus is the "first record of protorosaurid reptile (Order Protorosauria) from the Middle Triassic of China".[2][3]

A new specimen found in Yunnan Province, southern China, showed evidence of live births (ovoviviparity). This is the earliest known example of this in the large group of tetrapods which includes dinosaurs, crocodiles, pterosaurs and birds.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. Yanbin Wang et al 2014. "The Triassic U–Pb age for the aquatic long-necked protorosaur of Guizhou, China". Geological Magazine. 151 (4): 749–754. doi:10.1017/S001675681400003X.
  2. Li C. 2003. "First record of protorosaurid reptile (Order Protorosauria) from the Middle Triassic of China"". Acta Geologica Sinica. 77 (4): 419–423. doi:10.1111/j.1755-6724.2003.tb00122.x.
  3. Li C; Rieppel O. & LaBarbera M.C. 2004. "A Triassic aquatic Protorosaur with an extremely long neck". Science. 305 (5692): 1931. doi:10.1126/science.1100498.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. Rincin, Paul 2017. First live birth evidence in dinosaur relative. BBC News Science & Environment. [1]