Batrachotomus kupferzellensis

Middle Triassic (242-235Ma) of Southern Germany. Discovered in 1977, described in 1999. Large, reaching 6m in length, with variably sized and shaped dentition (heterodonty) for feeding.

Its upright (non-sprawling) limb posture suggests it was an active, terrestrial predator. The forelimbs were 70% length of the hindlimbs, but Batrachotomus probably was quadrupedal. It had a row of paired, flattened bony plates (osteoderms) down its back, with additional ones maybe present across the flank, belly and limbs.

Batrachotomus is one of the most complete “rauisuchians”, with some traits similar to the early pseudosuchians (e.g. large, quadrupedal carnivores). Rauisuchians, not dinosaurs, were among the dominant land carnivores of the Triassic.


Artistic interpretation of Batrachotomus kupferzellenisis by John Conway