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What is Archosauria?

Archosaur
Family Tree:
Animalia
Chordata
Reptilia
Diapsida
Archosauromorpha
Archosauria
Pronunciation: Ark-o-sor-ee-uh
Author(s): Edward Drinker Cope
Year: 1869
Etymology: from the Greek "arkhon" (Ruler, regent or commander) and "sauros" (lizard)
Locomotion: Bi and Quadru pedal
Synonyms: Non known
Definition
The most recent common ancestor of birds and crocodiles, and all of their descendants.
About
Archosaurs - the "ruling lizards" - are a group of reptiles that first evolved during the Triassic around 250 million years ago. All dinosaurs fall under the banner "Archosauria" as do several kinds of extinct creatures often mistakingly called dinosaurs, such as the flying pterosaurs. But to qualify for entry a few boxes need to be ticked.

Characteristically, archosaurs must have a window in the skull between the eye-socket and nostril known as the "antorbital fenestrae", a small hole on each side of the lower jaw known as the "mandibular fenestrae", a bony ridge known as the "fourth trochanter" on the rear of the thighbone to anchor muscle, and teeth set in sockets.

Archosaurs began their march to global domination some quarter of a billion years ago, but they are still alive and well, and living all around us in the form of modern crocodiles and birds.
Further reading
• A.S. Romer (1997, reprint) "The Osteology of the Reptiles".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "DinoChecker FAQ entry :: What is Archosauria?"
http://www.dinochecker.com/dinosaurfaqs/what-is-archosauria›. Web access: 25th Jun 2017.
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