Temporal range: Early Triassic
life restoration of Proterosuchus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Infraclass: Archosauromorpha
Family: Proterosuchidae
Genus: Proterosuchus
Type species
Proterosuchus yuani

Proterosuchus (meaning “primitive crocodile”) is an extinct genus of aquatic archosauriform reptile known from the Triassic of southern Africa and China.


Proterosuchus was a crocodile-like creature about 4 meters long, and may have been an ancestor of that group. It probably hunted in the same manner as modern crocodiles, attacking prey on the waterside. Its upper jaw arched down at the front, and it had teeth well suited for catching fish. It also had teeth on its palate; a primitive feature lost in later archosaurs.

In popular culture[]

  • Proterosuchus (identified as Chasmatosaurus) had a cameo in Walking With Monsters attacking a herd of Lystrosaurus. It is a possibility that Proterosuchus is an ancestor of crocodilians.
  • It also appeared in the sixth episode of Animal Armageddon, except during the end of the Permian, which is untrue.