The first crocodile ancestors | PLOS Paleo Community

Did you know that birds and crocodiles are practically cousins? Around 230 million years ago, you wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference between the two different lineages. This is because birds and crocodilians (which includes alligators, caiman, and gharials) are part of a much larger group called Archosauria, or ruling lizards, which means they share a common ancestor far back in time. When they split from each other, they formed two major evolutionary pathways: the bird-line archosaurs, which also includes all dinosaurs, and the crocodile-line archosaurs, which includes crocodilians and their ancestors, the crocodylomorphs. Back at around the time of this split, during a time known as the Late Triassic, the world was much more different than it is today. Small crocodylomorphs prowled the land, along with the earliest dinosaurs. There were a host of other bizarre reptiles, such as the predatory rauisuchids, which might be closely related to the first crocodylomorphs, and

Source: The first crocodile ancestors | PLOS Paleo Community

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