The crocodylomorphs arose in the mid Triassic within the Crurotarsi, one of the main lines of archosaur evolution. Although originally land-dwelling hunters, they adopted a more semi-aquatic lifestyle as they evolved. Today there are 23 species of crocodilians in three families: the Gavialidae, Alligatoridae and Crocodylidae. There are two species of alligators, six caimans, one gharial and 14 species of crocodiles.
Author: Ross Elgin
Last updated: 6/11/04
Return to Fossil groups home page