Postosuchus – Fierce Predator of the Triassic
The arid plains of Late Triassic North America were home to the large and terrifying Postosuchus, a fierce, meat-eating hunter that was the apex predator at this time. An archosaur reptile, not a dinosaur but part of the same broad group that contained the dinosaurs and the pterosaurs. Reaching lengths in excess of 5 metres and perhaps weighing more than one tonne, Postosuchus was capable of killing almost any other type of animal that shared its habitat. With a robust skull taller than it was wide, Postosuchus had a powerful bite, indeed some scientists have speculated that it was a distant ancestor of the tyrannosaurs, as these animals also have a similar skull morphology.
It is more likely that tyrannosaurs and the likes of Postosuchus both evolved strong, powerful bites and the skull adaptations are part of the process that permitted these strong jaws and fearsome bite strengths to evolve. However, whether or not Postosuchus was capable of a bipedal stance and upright gait like a theropod dinosaur is another point debated by scientists.
More often than not, Postosuchus is depicted as a quadruped, moving around on all fours. These large carnivores probably lived a solitary existence, avoiding other members of its species (except when the urge to breed took over). Postosuchus was probably an ambush predator, preying on dinosaurs such as young plateosaurs and the stocky dicynodont Placerias.
A Scale Drawing of Postosuchus
Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur
The model in the picture is the Postosuchus from the Carnegie Safari Wild Dinos collection (Wild Safari Dinos Postosuchus), it is depicted as a quadruped, a stance that many palaeontologists was the natural pose of this heavy animal. Postosuchus was capable of rearing up onto its hind legs but whether it was fully bipedal is unknown, given the lack of evidence available from the fossil record.
To view the model of Postosuchus and the other prehistoric animal figures in this exciting model series: Safari Ltd. Wild Safari Prehistoric World.