From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Temporal range: Early Miocene
Harpacochampsa camfieldensis 2.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Crocodilia
Superfamily: Gavialoidea
Genus: Harpacochampsa
Megirian, Murray & Willis 1991
Type species
Harpacochampsa camfieldensis
Megirian, Murray & Willis 1991

Harpacochampsa is a poorly known Early Miocene crocodilian from the Bullock Creek lagerstätte of the Northern Territory, Australia. The current specimen consists of a partial skull and fragments of a long slender snout reminiscent of that of a false gharial, demonstrating that it was a piscivore in life.[1] It was originally tentatively placed within Mekosuchinae,[1] although this has been frequently disputed,[2] as mekosuchines do not have such long, thin snouts.[3] Phylogenetic studies have placed Harpacochampsa within Mekosuchinae, as a basal member of Crocodyloidea, or as a member of Gavialoidea.[2]

Harpacochampsa camfieldensis (front) and Baru darrowi (back, surfacing)

Below is a cladogram from a 2018 tip dating study by Lee & Yates simultaneously using morphological, molecular (DNA sequencing), and stratigraphic (fossil age) data that shows Harpacochampsa as a gavialid:[4]


Gavialis gangeticus Gharial

Gavialis bengawanicus

Gavialis browni

Gryposuchus colombianus


Gryposuchus pachakamue






Tomistoma lusitanica

Tomistoma schlegelii False gharial


  1. ^ a b Willis, P. M. A., "Review of Crocodilians of Australasia Archived 2009-09-30 at the Wayback Machine" (pdf).
  2. ^ a b Jorgo Ristevski; Gilbert J. Price; Vera Weisbecker; Steven W. Salisbury (9 June 2021). "First record of a tomistomine crocodylian from Australia". Scientific Reports. 11 (12158): 12158. Bibcode:2021NatSR..1112158R. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-91717-y. PMC 8190066. PMID 34108569.
  3. ^ Brochu, Christopher A, American Zoologist, June 2001 "Crocodylian snouts toward adaptive radiation".
  4. ^ Michael S. Y. Lee; Adam M. Yates (27 June 2018). "Tip-dating and homoplasy: reconciling the shallow molecular divergences of modern gharials with their long fossil". Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 285 (1881). doi:10.1098/rspb.2018.1071. PMC 6030529. PMID 30051855.

Retrieved from ""