Early crocodylomorph increases top tier predator diversity during rise of dinosaurs. 2015. Zanno, L., et al. Scientific Reports.
Paleontologists recovered parts of Carnufex's skull, spine and upper forelimb from the Pekin Formation in Chatham County, North Carolina, deposited 231 million years ago in the beginning of the Late Triassic.
"Fossils from this time period are extremely important to scientists because they record the earliest appearance of crocodylomorphs and theropod dinosaurs, two groups that first evolved in the Triassic period, yet managed to survive to the present day in the form of crocodiles and birds," says Lindsay Zanno.