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Bharitalasuchus Tapani : Important Points

Bharitalasuchus Tapani: A Carnivorous Reptile:

An international team of paleontologists has thrown light on a carnivorous reptile that lived 240 million years ago (Bharitalasuchus tapani).

  • The Team studied some of the fossil specimens stored at the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.
  • In the mid 20th century, researchers from the Institute carried out extensive studies on rocks of the Yerrapalli Formation in what is now Telangana, uncovering several fossils.
  • This reptile belongs to a genus and species previously unknown to science. They named it Bharitalasuchus tapani (BT).
  • BT were robust animals with big heads and large teeth, and these probably predated other smaller reptiles.
  • They were approximately the size of an adult male lion and might have been the largest predators in their ecosystems.
  • In the Telugu language, Bhari means huge, Tala means head, and Suchus is the name of the Egyptian crocodile-headed deity.
  • The species is named after paleontologist Tapan Roy Chowdhury in honour of his contribution to Indian vertebrate paleontology and especially his extensive work on the Yerrapalli Formation tetrapod fauna.
  • Further studies revealed that the reptile belonged to a family of extinct reptiles named Erythrosuchidae.
  • Erythrosuchids are known from Lower-Middle Triassic rocks of South Africa, Russia, and China, and there have been preliminary reports from the Middle Triassic Yerrapalli Formation of south-central India.

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