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Study of postcranial morphological disparity among crocodyliforms baurusuchids and living ones using linear morphometry

Grant number: 23/14384-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2024
Effective date (End): December 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Paleozoology
Principal Investigator:Max Cardoso Langer
Grantee:Vitória Amaral Generoso da Fonseca
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:20/07997-4 - Dinosaur diversity and associated faunas in the Cretaceous of South America, AP.TEM

Abstract

This research project aims to evaluate the main morphological differences between two groups of crocodyliforms: the living Crocodylia and the extinct Baurusuchidae. Although anatomical descriptions of these organisms are abundant in literature, they focus on elements of the skull, which might be insufficient for resolving ecological and phylogenetic questions. As they are groups with very different ecologies, it is expected that the differences in them are reflected in the post-cranium. Furthermore, such anatomical variations have not yet been investigated quantitatively. Thus, a comparative study of fossil and living crocodyliforms, which takes into account elements of the post-skull and their respective dimensions, can be useful to identify discrepancies between such groups, helping to infer paleobiological aspects of the Baurusuchidae. In this project, we intend to statistically elucidate the main differences in the post-cranial morphology of Baurusuchidae in comparison to living crocodyliforms. This will be done through linear sizing of the postcranial elements and subsequent analysis of principal components, evaluating the interrelationships of a large number of variables, i.e., the linear measurements of each bone. It is expected to generate data that will be interpreted from a mainly ecological and phylogenetic perspective, allowing subsequent studies to use these data in taxonomic, ecological, physiological inferences, among others, since a quantitative analysis like this has never been done before.

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