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Clade
Subclade

Taxon
Taxon
Archosauria
Nominal Author
Cope 1869
2nd Nominal Author
Taxon Status ACTIVE
Comments

Cope (1869) established this group to include a broad range of taxa, including crocodiles, dinosaurs, “thecodonts,” dicynodonts, dinocephalians, rhyncosaurs, and sphenodontids. Later, this taxon was essentially abandoned by Osborn (1903), who dispersed dinosaurs, crocodiles, and other archosaur taxa into separate groups among the Diapsida. Huene (1914) and especially Romer (1933, 1956) re-established Archosauria as a taxon encompassing crocodiles, dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and “thecodonts,” a view that has widely been followed since.

Benton (1985, 1999) coined the taxa Neoarchosauria and Avesuchia, respectively, for a slightly more restricted subgroup within Archosauria that excludes Erythrosuchidae, Proterochampsidae and Euparkeriidae (preferring to use Archosauria for a group based on the presence of an antorbital fenestra). Although Benton (2004:8) refers to a form-qualified definition (”apomorphy-based”) for Archosauria, the phrase he used does not represent a complete phylogenetic definition with at least one specifier (”those diapsids that possess an antorbital fenestra”).

Archosauria was first defined in the abstract of a paper by Gauthier and Padian (1985), based on the unpublished thesis of Gauthier (1984). Archosauria has since been defined multiple times but never with species as specifiers. Sereno (1991) was the first to use formal taxa rather than the vulgar “birds and crocodiles”. The active definition is a first-order revision of all of the preceeding definitions.

Potential Synonomy
Archaeosauria (Jaekel 1911, spelling variant), Neoarchosauria, Avesuchia

Active Phylogenetic Definition
Active Definition
The least inclusive clade containing Crocodylus niloticus (Laurenti 1768) and Passer domesticus (Linnaeus 1758).
Shorthand
< Crocodylus niloticus and Passer domesticus.
Definitional Author
Sereno 2005
Definition Status checked
Definition Type NODE
Node-Stem Triplet NODE
Other Triplet Taxa
Crurotarsi, Avemetatarsalia
Specifiers
Specifier(s) A
Crocodylus niloticus
Specifier(s) B
Passer domesticus
Specifier(s) C
Qualifiers
+Taxon
-Taxon
Datum
Taxonomic Content
Publication Year Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
1985

Inactive Taxon Status
Rejection Criteria
Critique
 

Definitional History #1
Earliest Record
A monophyletic taxon composed of the living crocodiles and birds, and of fossil taxa that share their most recent common ancestor.
Latest Record
Gauthier and Padian 1985:185
Range (My)
Range (My)
living crocodiles, living birds
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Definitional History #2
Earliest Record
All the descendants of the most recent common ancestor of crocodiles and birds.
Latest Record
Gauthier 1986:42
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crocodiles, birds
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Definitional History #3
Earliest Record
Crurotarsi and Ornithodira, and all descendants of their most recent common ancestor.
Latest Record
Sereno 1991:26
Range (My)
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Crurotarsi, Ornithodira
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Definitional History #4
Earliest Record
All taxa phylogenetically bracketed by Crocodylia and Aves.
Latest Record
Senter 2004:262
Range (My)
Range (My)
Crocodylia, Aves
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Definitional History #9
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Definitional History #10
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