Fun Postosuchus Facts For Kids

Mellisa Nair
Jan 16, 2023 By Mellisa Nair
Originally Published on Oct 19, 2021
Edited by Hannah Bowyer
Postosuchus was closely related to modern crocodiles.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.9 Min

The Postosuchus is a genus of rauisuchid reptiles from the Late Triassic period that lived in North America. It has two species assigned to it, P. kirkpatricki and P. alisonae.

The Postosuchus is considered to be a close relative of the crocodile family and was among the most greedy carnivores that lived during the Triassic.

It had the upper hand while hunting as it was larger than any other carnivore or dinosaur predators of its time, such as the Coelophysis. It was discovered by a team of paleontologists from the Texas Tech University in 1980 during an expedition near Post, Garza County, Texas, USA.

They discovered several well-preserved specimens belonging to a new rauisuchid. Later in the following years, the holotype (TTUP 9000) of Postosuchus kirkpatricki was unearthed from the Post Quarry in Cooper Canyon Formation, along with other remains of Late Triassic terrestrial fauna.

The specimen consisted of a skull and a partial skeleton.

The genus was named and described by paleontologist Sankar Chatterjee in 1985, and the type species was described by Robert Long and Phillip A. Murry in 1995. Postosuchus's structure was typical of any other archosaur: it had a large, slender body with curved ribs, and could possibly walk bipedally.

For more related content, check out these Palaeosaurus facts and Hungarosaurus facts for kids.

Postosuchus Interesting Facts

Was the Postosuchus a dinosaur?

No, it was not a dinosaur. Instead, it was a peculiar archosaur that's closely related to crocodiles.

How do you pronounce 'Postosuchus'?

The word Postosuchus is pronounced as 'pos-to-suc-hus'.

What type of prehistoric reptile was a Postosuchus?

The Postosuchus belonged to the rauisuchians (a family of reptiles). Rauisuchians had pillar-like, upright legs that indicated that members were strictly bipedal, similar to many theropod dinosaurs, due to the proportions of their limbs, and weight-bearing sections of their spine.

However, other theories suggest that they walked on all four feet.

The fact is, whether a Postosuchus was an obligate biped or a quadruped is still a mystery. The Postosuchus is also a member of the clade Pseudosuchia and its lineage of archosaurs includes modern crocodilians, non-avian dinosaurs, and birds.

In which geological period did the Postosuchus live?

The Postosuchus lived during the Late Triassic period, 228 to 202 million years ago.

When did the Postosuchus become extinct?

Paleontologists speculate that the Postoscuchus went extinct towards the end of the Triassic period. Many other carnivore dinosaurs emerged, decreasing their chance of survival and increasing competition for resources.

Where did a Postosuchus live?

Fossil remains of this creature were recovered from North America, indicating that its range occupied that area.

What was a Postosuchus's habitat?

Postosuchus (‬crocodile from the Post‭) took shelter in a tropical environment and lived mostly in warm and moist regions, which had plenty of water and rich fauna.

Who did a Postosuchus live with?

Paleontologists believe that they lived in solitude and occasionally in pairs.

How long did a Postosuchus live?

The life span of this large predatory animal is unknown.

How did they reproduce?

They reproduced via sexual reproduction and are assumed to have laid eggs.

Postosuchus Fun Facts

What did a Postosuchus look like?

The Postosuchus was one of the fiercest carnivorous reptiles to have ever lived. This creature of the Triassic period had a heavily built skull, a long neck and tail, a short torso, and sharp dagger-like teeth.

This creature had forelimbs larger than its hind or rear legs, which raised several questions regarding its walking style. Paleontologists Phillip A. Murry and Robert Long suggested that it was a heavy-bodied quadrupedal.

Studies conducted on uncovered remains of its skeleton revealed that it had osteoderms (thick plates or hard scales that are used by creatures to defend themselves from predatory attacks) present on its back, neck, and tail. The Postosuchus had relatively small hands, bearing five toes.

Postosuchus was a fierce carnivore from Late Triassic period.

How many bones did a Postosuchus have?

The exact number of bones is unknown however, fossil material discovered in North America consisted of a skull, forelimbs, hind limbs, and several vertebrae. Studies conducted on these remains revealed that it had muscular legs, a sharp claw developed to help catch its prey, and that it may have been committed to bipedal locomotion.

How did they communicate?

Communication between these strange animals that roamed the Earth 202 to 228 million years ago is still a mystery. Many scientists over the past decades have come up with several theories suggesting possible ways these animals might have communicated.

Some scientists put forth the theory of vocalizations and that they communicated by producing calls, cracking sounds, body movements, and symbolic love calls during the mating season.

How big was a Postosuchus?

The Postosuchus was one of the largest carnivorous reptiles that lived during the Triassic age and grew up to 13.1-19.7 ft (4-6 m) in length (from snout to tail tip) and 4-11.5 ft (1.2-3.5 m) in height. It was also larger than any other carnivore dinosaur at that time, such as the Coelophysis.

How fast could a Postosuchus move?

The speed rate of this creature is unknown and it was either a biped or a quadruped. The posture of its forelimbs exceeded the length of its hind legs, which suggested it was similar to bipedal reptiles, and moved fast.

However, Chatterjee put forth an interesting theory stating that it used its forelimbs only during locomotion and that it otherwise had an erect stance which made it move or walk slowly.

How much did a Postosuchus weigh?

Adult members of this genus weighed around 551.2-661.4 lb (250–300 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

This species does not have gender-specific names for its male and female members, they are simply denoted as males and females.

What would you call a baby Postosuchus?

Since theories suggest they laid eggs, a young baby Postosuchus can be referred to as a hatchling.

What did they eat?

These animals followed a carnivore diet and had a well developed sense of smell, which they used to sniff out their prey. The Postosuchus had small arms and large hind legs, suggesting that it was bipedal and walked on its hind legs, similar to a dinosaur, with dagger-like sharp teeth to tear the flesh and skin of its prey.

Theories suggest that it preyed on bulky herbivore dinosaurs like Dicynodonts and small animals.

The Postosuchus' teeth were serrated and large, growing to at least‭ 2.8 in ‬(7 cm).

How aggressive were they?

The Postosuchus was one of the best predators of its time.

These creatures (including other rauisuchians) had sprawling, pillar-like, upright legs, unlike lizards, which indicated that they were active, agile, and aggressive predators and hunters, similar to large predatory dinosaurs that evolved later. They had a large skull and bore strong jaws with sharp dagger-like teeth that helped them easily shred their prey.

They had protective plates that acted as their defense shield against other predators and a large claw projecting out of their first toe that was used as an offensive weapon.

Did you know...

There are 17 teeth present in the upper jaw of a Postosuchus. Each premaxilla had four teeth and each maxilla had 13 teeth. The lower jaw consisted of at least 30 teeth.

What does the name 'Postosuchus' mean?

The name Postosuchus means 'the crocodile from Post'. Its name is a reference made to the Post Quarry, Texas where several fossils of species type , P. kirkpatricki were found.

What are Postosuchus ancestors to?

Studies conducted on their fossil remains suggest that they were the ancestors of modern crocodiles.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly prehistoric animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs on our Metriorhynchus interesting facts and Gargoyleosaurus fun facts for kids pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Postosuchus coloring pages.


Second image by Dallas Krentzel.

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Written by Mellisa Nair

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics and English Literature

Mellisa Nair picture

Mellisa NairBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics and English Literature

Specializing in the creation of SEO-friendly content, Mellisa brings enthusiasm and expertise to our team. Her work in digital marketing and social media is complemented by her academic background in economics and English literature, as she holds a Bachelor's degree in these subjects from Wilson College Chowpatty, Mumbai. Mellisa's experience working with clients from various industries, including retail, education, and technology, reflects her ability to adapt her skills to different contexts and audiences.

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