Dolichosuchus: a genus of theropod dinosaur

Dolikozuh (lat.: Dolichosuchus) is a genus of theropod dinosaurs from the superfamily Coelophysoidea (Coelophysoidea), which lived on the territory of modern Germany between the middle and late Triassic epochs. Since very little fossil evidence is known for the existence of these dinosaurs, it is impossible to determine the exact period of their life on Earth. However, it is speculated that they may have existed between 250 and 200 million years ago.

Dolicosuchus was most likely comparable in size to other theropods. His body weight was about 30-100 kilograms, and the length was approximately 1-3 meters. Some scientists claim that this dinosaur could have been larger in size and weighed more than 150 kg, but so far no fossil remains have been found that could confirm this statement.

Dolicosuchus was a predator. At the same time, like other representatives of the Theropod suborder (lat.: Theropoda), he was an excellent runner.

Since the discovery of the fossil remains of this dinosaur, its classification has undergone several changes. However, most of these changes were made only after receiving additional information about other dinosaurs. Until now, there are many blank spots and contradictions in the available data on dolicosuchus.

Initially, it was classified as a dinosaur, similar to representatives of the Crocodile order (lat.: crocodilia). This assumption was probably made based on the size of his tibia. However, a few years later, during the re-analysis of its remains, the dinosaur was assigned to the suborder Theropods from the superfamily Coelophysoids.

The Latin generic name “Dolichosuchus” is formed from the words “dolicho” and “suchus”. The word “suchus” is translated into Russian as “crocodile”, and “dolicho” as “something long”. Thus, the name “dolicosuchus” means “long crocodile”. This genus name was adopted by scientists mainly due to the initial assumption that this dinosaur was similar to a crocodile.

Initially, this predator was assigned to the Gallopodidae family (lat.: Hallopodidae), which is not recognized today due to the absence of other described genera in its composition. Later, the tibia of Dolicosuchus was found to belong to a theropod. Since then, this dinosaur has been attributed to the Neoteropod clade (lat.: Neotheropoda), which includes more advanced theropods.

The Latin generic name “Dolichosuchus” was first applied to the remains of this predator in 1932 by the German scientist Friedrich von Huene (German.: Friedrich von Huene), recognized throughout the world for his brilliant work in classifying a number of dinosaurs according to their fossils. In 1970, paleontologist Rodney Steele.: Rodney Steel) gave the name “Dolichosuchus cristatus” to the only species belonging to the genus Dolicosuchus.

However, the name “Dolichosuchus” is considered dubious (lat.: nomen dubium = dubious name) or having a dubious origin, since so far only one single bone has been found belonging to an animal assigned to this genus. In addition, apart from Dolichosuchus cristatus, no other species belonging to this genus has been found. Many scientists believe that the existing classification and generic name will be canceled if appropriate arguments against them are found.

Dinosaur fossils were found in Germany in the lower or middle layer of the sandstone suite of the Löwenstein Formation (German.: Löwenstein), which contains fossil remains of the Norian and Rhaetian stages of the Triassic period.

It contained the remains of many dinosaurs of the Triassic period, including dolicosuchus, halticosaurus (lat.: Haltichosaurus), Paleosaurus (Paleosaurus), Pachysaurus (Pachysaurus), Ceratosaurus (Ceratosaurus) and representatives of many other genera. In addition, many fossils of turtles, marine mollusks, crustaceans, as well as aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates have been found in the same formation.

However, since the exact time of the existence of Dolicosuchus is not known, it is impossible to determine with absolute certainty which of the animals whose fossils are also found in the Löwenstein Formation lived at the same time as this theropod.

The discovered remains of Dolicosuchus consisted only of the tibia. However, the size of this bone allowed scientists to roughly estimate the size and length of the animal’s body. As a result, it was suggested that Dolicosuchus was a relatively small theropod.

It was a land dinosaur. Representatives of this genus lived in river valleys and swamps and most likely fed on small aquatic and amphibious animals. This theropod, like other large predators of the Triassic period, was adapted to the fast running necessary in order to catch prey.

Since only one bone is attributed to Dolicosuchus, it is difficult to identify his family ties with other dinosaurs. However, many paleontologists note the similarity of the tibiae of the Dolicosuchus, Lilienstern (lat.: Liliensternus) and dilophosaurus (Dilophosaurus), the fossil remains of which were also found on the territory of modern Germany.

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