Fun Marasuchus Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Feb 29, 2024 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Sep 23, 2021
Edited by Kidadl Team
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Amazing Marasuchus facts that you won't believe.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.0 Min

The new genus Marasuchus is an extinct genus of vertebrates from the class reptiles, and it is scientifically known as Marasuchus lilloensis. Until 2003, they were considered one of the close relatives of dinosaurs. At present, it has been replaced by other dinosaurs such as the Silerosaurus. However, it remains a significant animal for learning the origin and evolution of the morphological characteristics of dinosaurs. M. illoensis was originally described as the additional species of Lagosuchus L. lilloensis. The Marasuchus order cannot be found yet. Scott Hartman has been responsible for showing and bringing about the skeletal drawing of this animal Marasuchus. In the Los Chanares ischigualasto formation, Marasuchus fossils were discovered.

However, new research of the Lagosuchus by Sereno and Arcucci (1994) resolved that original specimens were too ineffectively preserved to include other specimens of this genus. They also noted in their research that the hind limb proportions of the L. lilloensis specimen were different from those of the model species. Based on this, they named the Lagosuchus lilloensis to the latest genus, the Marasuchus. The other species of the genus includes the Lagosuchus talampayensis. The Lagosuchus talampayensis is actually considered a known synonym of M. lillownsis, even though they are smaller in length than the M. lilloensis. The genus became extinct in the middle Triassic period. Some scientists believed that they were fire-breathing creatures and named them Chimera Marasuchus.

You can also check out interesting facts about other dinosaurs, such as Heterodontosauruses and Harpactognathuses.

Marasuchus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce Marasuchus?

This new genus Marasuchus is pronounced as 'ma-ra-suu-chu-ss'.

What type of dinosaur was a Marasuchus?

It is a genus of Dinosauriform archosaur, which is likely a synonym of the genus Lagosuchus. Both genera lived together during the Late Triassic period, which is now presently La Rioja Province, Argentina. The genus Marasuchus comprises only one species, L. lilloensis. It went extinct after the middle Triassic period. It belonged to the clade of Dinosauriformes.

What geological period did the Marasuchus roam the earth?

The Marasuchus prehistoric wildlife indicates that the M. lilloensis lived during the Ladinian Age of the Middle Triassic period of Argentina, 237-229 million years ago.

When did the Marasuchus become extinct?

The M. lilloensis became extinct about 230 million years ago during the Ladinian Age of the Middle Triassic period of Argentina.

Where did a Marasuchus live?

Triassic of Argentina Marasuchus, a genus of archosaurs, occupied part of South America throughout the Ladinian Age of the Middle Triassic period of Argentina. M. lilloensis remains were discovered in the Los Chañares Formation of the Ischigualasto Villa Unión Basin in northwest Argentina. The M. lilloensis was not considered a dinosaur since members of this and other genera, including the Silesaurus and the Eucoelophysis, are categorized as basal dinosauromorphs or direct ancestors of dinosauromorphs. However, additional information on the M. lilloensis also includes that it was similar to dinosaur-like Ornithodirans from the Middle Triassic period in Argentina.

What was a Marasuchus's habitat?

The habitat of the M. lilloensis is unknown. However, many fossils of the M.lilloensis have been discovered from the Los Chañares Formation of Argentina.

Who did a Marasuchus live with?

Whether the M. lilloensis lived alone, in pairs, or in a group is unknown but some scientists indicate that they may have stayed in a small group, with two or more skeletons of these animals discovered in the same place.

How long did a Marasuchus live?

The total life span of the M. lilloensis is unknown as they existed millions of years ago.

How did they reproduce?

There is no information available about the reproduction of the Marasuchus. However, it is believed that they laid eggs like most dinosaurs based on fossil discoveries.

Marasuchus Fun Facts

What did a Marasuchus look like?

Various fossils and skeletons of the Triassic of Argentina Marasuchus have been identified from the Los Chañares Formation of Argentina. The Marasuchus was small among dinosaurs, but it could grow up to 15.74 in (40 cm) total body length. Except for the Marasuchus skull and lower jaw, all parts of the reptile's bone anatomy were known fossils. One of the characteristic features of dinosaurs was the hole for the femur in the acetabulum of the pelvis, which did not exist in the Malazuus. However, it had some characteristics, such as the presence of an elongated pubic bone and anterior femoral trochanter, similar to dinosaurs. The existence of these features in the Marasuchus indicates some features limited to dinosaurs, and their close relatives began to evolve in the Middle Triassic period before dinosaurs officially originated in the Late Triassic period. In terms of proportions, the M. lilloensis usually resembled earlier therapod dinosaurs. They look slightly similar to the African fat-tailed gecko, even though the Marasuchus is way bigger than they are.

The Marasuchus had a dark body coloration.

How many bones did a Marasuchus have?

The exact number of bones in the M. lilloensis is unknown since the discovery was made from their skeleton, which may not fully represent their total bones. However, knowledge about the body and bones has been published in detail. In the skull, the material was low, and only some bones from this area were preserved in PVL 3870. Basipterygoid processes were small, blade-like, and leaned forwards. In 1975, Bonaparte described the dinosaur's quadrate and squamosal bones to be the same as that of the Euparkeria. All vertebrae were present in the animal. Most of the features, particularly unique and unusual traits, occurred in vertebrae. Two vertebrae were connected to the hip, which was less than other dinosaurs with three or more vertebrae attached to the sacrum.

The pelvis (buttocks) had many similarities with other dinosauromorphs that did not exist in the previous main archosauriform. Relative to the anterior main keel, the ischium was also enlarged because it was longer than the main part of the ilium. The space between the ilium and ischium along the edge of the pubic bone became more developed in dinosauromorphs, where it became an open socket that filled the entire acetabulum. However, this had not yet evolved in the Marasuchus, which retained the inner bony wall of the acetabulum.

In the hind limb, the modification of the acetabulum was reflected in the femoral head (thigh bone) connected to it. There was a single piece of bone on the outer edge of the femoral head, called the anterior trochanter, which, like in other dinosaurs, is found to a lesser extent in other metatarsals. In addition, the Marasuchus also had a column called the trochanter, which branched from the anterior trochanter and surrounded the femoral shaft. The trochanter was also a feature of some early dinosauromorphs: the Cirisaurus and the fossil of the Zomosaurus.

The ankle had two main bones: the larger talus square and the smaller calcaneus attached to its outer edge. In some ways, the ankle shared characteristics with other dinosauromorphs shapes. Although not all bones of toes are preserved, like other dinosauromorphs, the formula for phalanges can be two- three- four- five- zero.

How did they communicate?

No data has been published regarding means of communication among the M. lilloensis.

How big was a Marasuchus?

The length of the M. lilloensis is 15.74 in (40 cm), which is smaller than alligators.

How fast could a Marasuchus move?

It is believed that the M.lilloensis could move fast, but the exact speed of the Lagosuchus lilloensis is unknown.

How much did a Marasuchus weigh?

The average weight of the Marasuchus is 11 lb (5 kg), which is 10 times heavier and bigger than the Gila monster.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names used to describe male and female Marasuchus lilloensis.

What would you call a baby Marasuchus?

The baby M. lilloensis has no specific name. It's probably called a young or baby dinosaur.

What did they eat?

M. lilloensis were carnivores that fed on other animals which were smaller than them; that includes other dinosaurs, too.

How aggressive were they?

No information is available regarding the aggression in the M. lilloensis.

Did you know...

When Romer first described the Tucuman specimen in 1972, it was listed as a specimen of the new species Lagosuchus lilloensis. However, the Lagosuchus talampayensis is the kind species of the Lagosuchus, and some articles were named as early as 1971. The difference between the two species is mainly because the Tucuman is larger than the L. talampayensis. Later, research was made by Paul Sereno and Andrea Arcucci (1994), where they reasoned that the original type of fossil specimen of the Lagosuchus was badly preserved and could not be diagnosed. They opposed the inclusion of other specimens of the genus Lagosuchus, which they thought was a questionable point. They also remarked that limb proportions and other subtle characteristics of many of the referred PVL specimens were different from those of Lagosuchus specimens collected somewhere else. On this basis, a new genus was established to contain PVL samples. This new genus is called Marasuchus, which was a tribute to the etymology of Lagosuchus. The specific term Marasuchus lilloensis was based on Romer's species classification for the Tucuman specimen. Between 1994 and 2019, the Marasuchus was recognized as a more fitting characteristic and well-described alternative term for the taxon named dinosauriform (Lagosuchus).

In 2019, Federico Agnolin and Martin Ezcurra reexamined the Lagosuchus type specimen. They believed that changes in bone size and specific skeleton features were inherited by the individual. Additional information regarding their teeth strength is unknown. Since they appear to be hairy it is unlikely that it were slimy in nature. The hole for the femur in the acetabulum of the pelvis, which did not exist in the Malazuus, was one of the distinguishing features of dinosaurs.

What does Marasuchus mean?

Marasuchus means 'mara crocodile'. The Marasuchus obtained its name from the Mara, the Patagonian rodents, whose habits imitate small deer.

What kind of terrain did the Marasuchus live in?

The M. lilloensis used to live in present-day South America.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs from our Crichtonsaurus facts and Puertasaurus facts pages.

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

Marasuchus Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Birds, animals, smaller dinosaurs

what Type of Animal were they?

Carnivores

Average Litter Size?

N/A

What Did They Look Like?

Dark brown and green

How Much Did They Weigh?

11 lb (5 kg )

Skin Type

Scales

How Long Were They?

15.74 in (40 cm)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Reptiles

Genus

Basal dinosauriform archosaur

Family

Dinosauriformes

Scientific Name

Marasuchus lilloensis

What Were Their Main Threats?

Loss of habitat and natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Dry regions and forests

Where Did They Live?

South America
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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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