Smaller than a Microraptor!

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Trilophosuchus is an extinct genus of small mekosuchine crocodilian. It lived in Australia during the Oligocene and Miocene epoch. It is hypothesized to be mostly terrestrial, though this is still debated. The type and only species of the genus is T. rackhami.


Discovery and Naming[]

The holotype specimen of Trilophosuchus, being a skull only missing the tip of the snout, was discovered in Australia's Riversleigh World Heritage Area in Miocene rock. Since then, more specimens have been found and assigned to the genus, dating the animal to have first occurred in the Oligocene.

Its name stands for "triple crested crocodile" where "Tri" stands for three, "lopho" which stands for crest, and the "suchus" standing for crocodile. The name references its unique three ridges along the skull of the animal. The specific name, "rackhami", simply references a popular supporter of the excavation, Alan Rackham.


Trilophosuchus was found in an area rich with Miocene mammals which would have provided it with plentiful food. Unfortunately, the mekosuchinae subfamily disappeared during the Pleistocene period, most likely due to habitat destruction and competition with humans. Compared to modern crocodilians, Trilophosuchus had a short snout, large eyes, and three long ridges of bone running along the top of its skull (located between the eyes).

Trilophosuchus size

Trilophosuchus size compared with an average human.

As for the size of Trilophosuchus, it is estimated to have been around 70–90 cm (28–35 in) long while weighing 1–2 kg (2.2–4.4 lb).