from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Plural form of phytosaur.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Some called phytosaurs looked and lived a lot like today's crocodiles, staying submerged in rivers or lakes until attacking a victim.
I stayed in (too weary for eyes on me, and the autumn sky) and read "Superiority, Competition, and Opportunism in the Evolutionary Radiation of Dinosaurs" (Science, 12 September 2008), which examines the question of just how dinosaurs managed to come out of the Triassic so much better off than their crurotarsan contemporaries (non-dinosaurian archosaurs, including phytosaurs, aetosaurs, 'rauisuchians,' etc.).
The taxonomic breadth of fossil taxa at the Hayden Quarry is amazing---in addition to several species of dinosaur, there are also numerous "pre-dinosaurs" close ancestors of dinosaurs, phytosaurs, "rauisuchians", aetosaurs, amphibians, small reptiles 1, and probably more.
Boomerang-headed diplocauls kept their young close to shore for protection while on the far side of the little island juvenile black caimans and phytosaurs slumbered on, indifferent to their bipedal mammalian visitors.
But, in the Triassic, crurotarsans were amazingly diverse-from giant carnivorous rauisuchians to long-snouted, flesh eating phytosaurs to herbivorous armored aetosaurs-and they have often been mistaken for dinosaurs in the fossil record, the animals that they probably competed with for the same resources.