Parotosuchus is an extinct genus of capitosaurian temnospondyl amphibians within the family Mastodonsauridae. Fossils are known from the Early Triassic of Europe, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica. It was about 2 metres (6.6 ft) long and likely lived in aquatic environments such as lakes and rivers. Parotosuchus was covered in a scaly skin, unlike the smooth skin of modern-day amphibians, and probably moved with an eel-like motion in the water.[2]

Temporal range: Early Triassic
Skull impression of P. nasutus in the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Temnospondyli
Suborder: Stereospondyli
Clade: Capitosauria
Family: Mastodonsauridae
Genus: Parotosuchus
Otschev and Shishkin, 1968
  • P. nasutus (Meyer, 1858)
  • P. helgolandicus (Schröder, 1913)
  • P. haughtoni (Broili & Schröder, 1937)
  • P. orenburgensis (Konzhukova, 1965)
  • P. orientalis (Otschev, 1966)
  • P. panteleevi (Otschev, 1966)
  • P. ptaszynskii Sulej and Niedźwiedzki, 2013
  • P. sequester Lozovsky & Shishkin, 1974
  • P. speleus Mikhail A. Shishkin and Tomasz Sulej, 2009[1]
  • P. komiensis Novikov, 1986
  • Archotosaurus Patton, 1976
Life restoration of P. orenburgensis
Life restoration of P. nasutus

Parotosuchus was originally named Parotosaurus. However, the name Parotosaurus was preoccupied by a genus of skinks,[3] and in 1968 the name Parotosuchus was proposed as a replacement.[4] The name Archotosaurus was also proposed as a replacement name in 1976,[5] although the author who proposed this was unaware that Parotosuchus was already in use. Because the name Parotosuchus was erected earlier than Archotosaurus, it has priority.[6]


  1. ^ Mikhail A. Shishkin; and Tomasz Sulej (2009). "The Early Triassic temnospondyls of the Czatkowice 1 tetrapod assemblage" (PDF). paleontologica polonica. 65: 31–77.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ Yahoo News: Antarctic fossil prompts rethink about amphibian history
  3. ^ Linkem, C.W.; Diesmos, A.C.; Brown, R.M. (2010). "A new species of scincid lizard (genus Sphenomorphus) from Palawan Island, Philippines" (PDF). Herpetologica. 66 (1): 67–79. doi:10.1655/08-074.1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-01-15.
  4. ^ Kalandadze, N.N.; Ochev, V.G.; Tatarinov, L.P.; Chudinov, P.K.; Shishkin, M.A. (1968). "Catalogue of Permian and Triassic tetrapods of the U.S.S.R.". Upper Paleozoic and Mesozoic Amphibians and Reptiles of the U.S.S.R. Moscow: Nauka. pp. 72–79.
  5. ^ Patton, R.L. (1976). "A replacement name for Parotosuchus Jaekel (Amphibia: Labyrinthodontia)" (PDF). Palaeontology. 19 (2): 415–416.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Damiani, R. J. (2002). "Parotosuchus (Amphibia, Temnospondyli) from the Cynognathus Assemblage Zone (Early Triassic) of South Africa: Cranial morphology and relationships". Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology. 25 (4): 351–379. doi:10.1080/03115510108619226.

Further readingEdit