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Carnufex
Temporal range: Late Triassic
CarnufexIllustration.jpg
An artist's illustration of Carnufex carolinensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Crocodylomorpha
Genus: Carnufex
Zanno et al., 2015
Species: C. carolinensis
Binomial name
Carnufex carolinensis
Zanno et al., 2015
Carnufex, name meaning "butcher", is an extinct genus of crocodylomorph that existed during the Carnian stage, late Triassic period in what is now the Pekin formation in North America.

Only known by the species Carnufex carolinensis, which means "Carolina butcher", it was described in 2015 by Zanno et al.. It is known from the holotype skull and skeleton NCSM 51228 and the referred humerus NCSM 21623.

Description

Since Carnufex is known from most regions of the skeleton, a lot is known about the animal. The species measured approximately 3 metres (10 ft) in length, though it may have grown larger since the holotype specimen was an immature individual.

The skull of Carnufex is notable as it bridges a gap in morphology in early crocodylomorphs. There are also rough areas at the top of the skull, suggesting that the taxon possessed some form of decorative display. Its snout was long and narrow and possessed teeth which were longer and more serrated at the front of the mouth than the back.

Biology

Carnufex was also one of the top triassic predators in North America. It would have fed on almost anything it wanted since all the biggest rauisuchians lived in South America or in other parts of North America. Its arms were long and it may have had the ability to move its hand a bit. This would have been advantageous in its life since all the other top predators were quadrupeds and did not have the use of their arms as more than limbs to help it move.

Classification

Carnufex, along with another unnamed genus, is a primitive crocodylomorph; far more derived than the members of the family Rauisuchidae.

Below is a simplified cladogram, containing only Loricata and Crocodylomorpha.

Loricata

Prestosuchus




Saurosuchus




Batrachotomus




Fasolasuchus




Rauisuchidae


Crocodylomorpha

Carnufex



Postosuchus (CM 73372)




Dromicosuchus



Hesperosuchus



CM 29894





Sphenosuchus



Redondavenator





Dibothrosuchus



Terrestrisuchus




Litargosuchus




Kayentasuchus



Crocodyliformes













References

http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/species/c/carnufex.html