New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Species in news: Bharitalasuchus Tapani


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Bharitalasuchus Tapani

Mains level: NA

In the mid 20th century, researchers from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, carried out extensive studies on rocks of the Yerrapalli Formation in what is now Telangana, uncovering several fossils of Bharitalasuchus Tapani.

Bharitalasuchus Tapani

  • This reptile belongs to a genus and species previously unknown to science. It is named Bharitalasuchus tapani considering Telugu etymology.
  • 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.

Details of the reptile

  • The reptile belonged to a family of extinct reptiles named Erythrosuchidae.
  • A precise identification had not been possible earlier because the family was not known from other examples in India.
  • It was neglected because the fossil specimen was not as complete as those of other erythrosuchids from other countries.
  • The team notes that tapani 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.

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