Teleocrater rhadinus from the Middle Triassic (~245 mya) of Tanzania. Measuring about 2.5m long (8′2″), it was one of the earliest known members of the avemetatarsalians – the dinosaur-and-pterosaur (or “bird-line”) branch of the archosaurs. Its fossils have been known for over 80 years, but it was only very recently given an official name and classification following the discovery of additional specimens in 2015.
It turned out to be rather different from what paleontologists had expected an early bird-line archosaur to look like. Instead of being a bipedal basal-dinosaur-like animal, Teleocrater was actually a quadruped with more crocodilian-like limbs and oddly elongated neck vertebrae.
I’ve done two variations of the image today – both with and without a little speculative proto-fuzz.