Prestosuchus chiniquensis by maniraptora
Name Prestosuchus
Order Archosauromorpha
Suborder Rauisuchia
Class Prestosuchidae
Name Translation Prestes crocodile
Period Middle Triassic
Location South America
Diet Meat
Length 5 metres (16 ft)

Prestosuchus (meaning "Prestes crocodile", in honour of Vicentino Prestes de Almeida) is an extinct genus of pseudosuchian that lived in the Santa Maria Formation of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, about 242-235 million years ago in the middle Triassic. At a length of 7 metres (16 feet) from nose to tail, Prestosuchus was one of the largest pseudosuchians of the Triassic period, rivalled only by Saurosuchus and Fasolasuchus.


Restoration of Prestosuchus

Restoration of Prestosuchus

Although Prestosuchus superficially resembles a dinosaur, it was actually a pseudosuchian. As a result, it was more closely related to modern crocodilians of today. While it was once thought to be around 5 metres in length, a specimen that was discovered in 2010 implies that Prestosuchus could have reached lengths of up to 7 metres. This would make it one of the largest pseudosuchians of the Triassic period, rivalled by only Saurosuchus and Fasolasuchus. While it would have likely walked on all fours like crocodilians, Prestosuchus had an upright stance, with its limbs being placed underneath its hip bones. Its skull was deep and was equipped with large, jagged teeth.


The holotype of Prestosuchus was discovered in the Paleontological Site Chiniquá, near the city of São Pedro do Sul in 1928 or 1929 and were shipped to Germany where they would be studied by paleontologist Friedrich von Huene. In 1938, he named the species Prestosuchus chiniquensis in honour of Vicentino Prestes de Almeida. This site is located in the geopark of Paleorrota. A remarkably complete skeleton, with a well-preserved hind leg, was discovered at Dona Francisca in Rio Grande do Sul by a team of paleontologists from the Universidade Luterana do Brasil and published in 2010.

In 2023, Edio-Ernst Kischlat suggested that Prestosuchus should be renamed to Huenesuchus because its type species name wasn't properly accepted in the ICZN guidelines. Despite this, this argument has been heavily disputed by other palaeontologists, who continue to treat Prestosuchus as a valid type species in later publications.

In Popular Culture[]

  • Prestosuchus is a legendary amphibian that can be created in Jurassic World: The Game, even though in real life it was a terristrial reptile. It can only be obtained by joining a VIP Membership. When Prestosuchus is in its pen, its tail rests on the ground. While other crocodiles did this, it is unlikely Prestosuchus actually did this. With the legs under its hips like a dinosaur and unlike a semi aquatic crocodile, Prestosuchus' tail had to be above the ground for balance.
Prestosuchus (7)

Jurassic World: The Game Prestosuchus

Level 40 Prestosuchus

Prestosuchus at level 40 in Jurassic World: The Game