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Cast Of The GR 138 Specimen Of Vancleavea Campi Found In North America

The cast of GR 138 Vancleavea campi, a semi-aquatic archosauriform reptile lizard from the Late Triassic period of North America, has been discovered.

What Happened In The Late Triassic Period?

Late in the Triassic period, seafloor spreading in the Tethys Sea caused rifting between the northern and southern halves of Pangaea, kicking off the separation of Pangaea into two continents, Laurasia and Gondwana, which would be completed in the Jurassic period.

Black and white drawing of vancleavea skeleton and body structure
Black and white drawing of vancleavea skeleton and body structure

Vancleavea Campi Species

Vancleavea is a variety of wiped out, heavily clad, non-archosaurian archosauriforms from the Late Triassic of western North America. The sort and just realized species are V. campi, named by Robert Long and Phillip A Murry in 1995. Around then, the class was just known for fragmentary bones including osteoderms and vertebrae.

In any case, from that point forward a lot more fossils have been found, including a couple of almost complete skeletons found in 2002. These finds have shown that individuals from the variety were strange semiaquatic reptiles. Vancleavea specie had diminutive noses with enormous teeth and long bodies with little appendages.

Body Structure

They were totally covered with hard plates known as osteoderms, which came in a few distinct assortments disseminated around the body. Phylogenetic investigations by proficient scientists have shown that Vancleavea was an archosauriform, part of the ancestry of reptiles that would prompt archosaurs like dinosaurs and crocodilians.

Vancleavea comes up short on characteristics that are available in most other archosauriforms, most quite the antorbital, mandibular, and supratemporal fenestrae, which are weight-saving openings in the skulls of other taxa. Nonetheless, different elements obviously support its archosauriform character, including an absence of intercentra, the presence of osteoderms, a solidified laterosphenoid, and a few variations of the femur and lower leg bones.

In 2016, another variety of archosauriform, Litorosuchus, was portrayed. This sort of looked like both Vancleavea and more average archosauriforms in various regards, permitting Litorosuchus to go about as a momentary fossil connecting Vancleavea to less abnormal archosauriforms.

Vancleavea was first found in 1962 in the Petrified Forest Member of the Petrified Forest National Park and at first, portrayed by Long and Murry in 1995. Around then the main depicted example was the holotype, PEFO 2427. The class is named after Phillip Van Cleave, who found the principal known stays of the genus. Since then, various remaining parts have been found. A 2009 reexamination of the sort by Nesbitt et al. officially depicted two extra examples, GR 138 and 139.

GR 138 Vancleavea Campi is especially prominent due to being an almost complete and enunciated skeleton safeguarding an assortment of osteoderms in the positions they would have been in during life. It was found at the Coelophysis Quarry in north-focal New Mexico (Ghost Ranch), US, and was ready at the Ruth Hall Museum of Paleontology in Abiquiú, New Mexico before its formal description.

Vancleavea is a genuinely normal event in many levels of the Chinle Formation, notwithstanding, because of the inadequately saved remains, it is hard to look at examples across stratigraphic levels.


Life Restoration

The most complete example of Vancleavea (GR 138) was around 1.2 m (3.9 ft) long. In any case, confined bones have shown that individuals of the sort could become bigger than GR 138. Specifically, MCCDM 1745 from New Mexico might have arrived at an absolute length of 3.86 m (12.7 ft). Imbricating osteoderms cover the whole body, the appendages are somewhat short, and the skull is profoundly ossified.

The supratemporal fenestra is missing, which might address an auxiliary conclusion instead of a plesiomorphic trait. The nares open dorsally (for example nostrils face up) and the jaw contains broadened caniniform teeth. Each osteoderm has an articulated focal fall and a foremost projection. The ilium of Vancleavea looks like those of irrelevant drepanosaurs. The one-of-a-kind morphology of Vancleavea contrasts extraordinarily with some other known basal archosauriform.

Drawing of vancleavea species
Drawing of vancleavea species


The just known Vancleavea example saving a total skull is GR 138, and accordingly, that example is the reason for information on the skull in this taxon. The postorbital district of the skull (behind the eyes) is long and square-shaped, with a wide and level skull rooftop. The preorbital locale (before the eyes), then again, is short, three-sided, and slender. A distinctive component of Vancleavea is the absence of an antorbital fenestra, an opening before the eyes which is normal for archosauriforms. The lacrimal bone, which normally shapes the back edge of the antorbital fenestra, has likewise vanished. Grooves cover the skull rooftop while foramina (minuscule pores) coat the skull bones close to the mouth.


Before the sort was depicted in 1995, an extra example comprising fragmentary skull material found by Charles Camp in 1923 was proposed to have a place with a proterochampsid. However, this material was subsequently alluded to another taxon, Acallosuchus rectori, in the wake of having been demonstrated to be particular from the postcranial material viewed in 1962.

In the underlying portrayal of Vancleavea, the variety alluded to Neodiapsida incertae sedis alongside A. rectori. A 2008 phylogenetic concentrate probably proposed that Vancleavea was basal archosauriforms more inferred than Erythrosuchus, Proterosuchus, and potentially even Euparkeria. In another 2009 review, Vancleavea was viewed as more firmly connected with Archosauria than both Erythrosuchus and Proterosuchus, and was additionally observed to be beyond the crown bunch, with Euparkeria staying the nearest sister taxon of Archosauria.

"Dang look at those teeth! I guessing this would have been like a Komodo dragon that could easily cut through the water with that skull shape, long and strong neck . Komodo dragon X leopard seal combined. The scales look like plates of armor ! This is so cool. I want one for my living room! Lol"

_ClickyTheBlicky (Reddit)

"They aren’t scales, they are actually bones called osteoderms. This animal was incredibly well armored."

_ImHalfCentuar1 (Reddit)

"So it’s basically a water dragon"

_ClickyTheBlicky (Reddit)

Fond of marine life, we have some more on this too. Click here.


Claims of a nearby connection between Vancleavea and thalattosaurs have been entirely exposed by scientists like David Marjanovic and Jaime Headden. What are your thoughts on GR 138 Vancleavae Campi? I find it really interesting and intriguing!

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