Temporal range: Early Triassic, Olenekian
|Specimen WGSC 26004|
Hupehsuchus was similar to its close relative, Nanchangosaurus, but differed from it in a number of ways. For example, Hupehsuchus had heavier armor on its back than Nanchangosaurus, and its back spines were more finely divided, giving it a more crocodile-like appearance than Nanchangosaurus. It had a thin, long snout like a gharial, river dolphin, or ichthyosaur, which it probably used to snag fish or probe for aquatic invertebrates.
Exactly to what species Hupehsuchus is related is unknown. Fairly clearly, it shares a close relationship with Nanchangosaurus, but other relations are unknown. Many features, including the discovery of polydactyly, suggest that Hupehsuchus is related to the ichthyosaurs, but the fact that Hupehsuchus' extra digits include more bones in the hand, rather than just the fingers as in the ichthyosaurs, may discredit that theory. It, along with Nanchangosaurus, seems to be so different from any other reptile that a new order has been constructed for the two genera called Hupehsuchia.
- Chinese Fossil Vertebrates by Spencer G. Lucas
- The World Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures by Dougal Dixon
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