Mourausuchus is an extinct genus of alligatoroid crocodiles, situated in the Caimaninae clade. Endemic to South America and composed by four species originated from Middle (M. atopus) and Late Miocene deposits (M. amazonensis, M. arendsi and M. nativus), these animals represent one of the most peculiar crocodilian forms ever known, whose characteristics include an extremely broad, flat rostrum, resembling "the beak of a duck", along with notably weak, thin mandibles. Such traits, along with aspects found in postcranial bones have taken these crocodiles to be initially interpretated as having a suspensivurous or straining feeding habit, rather than being an active predator of big preys like most crocodilians. Albeit their remarkable pecularities, Mourasuchus is a very little studied and known taxon: most of the morphological descriptions made so far have been very succint, and the phylogentic relationships between the species of the genus have not been resolved yet. Additionally, the phylogenetical proximity of Mourasuchus and the north-american Eocene form Orthogenysuchus olseni rises interesting biogeographical questions regarding the space destribution of these taxa. Then, in order to create a better understanding about all these questions, including anatomy, taxonomy, phylogenetic relationships and biogeography of this peculiar group, it is necessary a deep, detailed study of systematic revision of the Mourasuchus species, which cnstitutes the objective of this project.
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