The monophyly of Euparkeriidae (Reptilia: Archosauriformes) and the origins of Archosauria: A revision of Dorosuchus neoetus from the Mid-Triassic of Russia

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Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • Borissiak Paleontological Institute RAS
  • Kazan Federal University


Euparkeria capensis is resolved as the sister taxon to Archosauria in many cladistic phylogenies and provides a key outgroup which may approximate the ancestral archosaur morphology. Several other taxa have been referred to the family Euparkeriidae, but the monophyly of this taxon remains doubtful and largely untested. To test this monophyly, the archosauriform and putative euparkeriid Dorosuchus neoetus from the Mid-Triassic of Russia is re-examined in the light of recent work on the evolution of stem archosaurs. Dorosuchus neoetus is found to possess a number of morphological features that place it close to Archosauria, including a sigmoidal femur with a clear attachment region for the m. caudifemoralis musculature, but no unambiguous archosaurian apomorphies. Dorosuchus neoetus is included for the first time in a numerical cladistic analysis and is recovered as the sole sister taxon to Archosauria + Phytosauria. A monophyletic Euparkeriidae including D. neoetus and E. capensis is slightly less parsimonious. In addition, a mandible and pterygoid that were previously referred to D. neoetus subsequent to the original description of the species are also included separately within the phylogenetic analysis and are recovered within Archosauria, possibly raising questions as to their correct taxonomic referral. However, this phylogenetic placement is based primarily on the absence of palatal teeth, but the presence or absence of palatal teeth exhibits considerable homoplasy within Archosauriformes. Based on other aspects of their morphology, we do not reject the referral of these elements to D. neoetus.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177-1202
Number of pages26
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


  • Archosauria, Dorosuchus, Euparkeria, Sister taxon, Triassic