In the last entry we had heads that looked much too small… so now how about heads that were too big?
Erythrosuchus africanus was part of an early branch of the archosauriformes, related to the ancestors of crocodiles, pterosaurs, and dinosaurs. Living in South Africa during the mid Triassic, around 247-242 million years ago, it was the largest predator of its time, reaching about 5m long (16’5″).
It was one of the earliest archosaurifomes to develop a more upright-limbed posture, and convergently evolved a very theropod-like head with a deep narrow snout full of large serrated teeth.
A head that was absolutely massive proportional to the rest of its body, measuring about 1m long (3’3″).
As a result of such a big noggin, Erythrosuchus must have also had some bulky musculature in its neck and forequarters to support it. And while its fairly short neck wouldn’t have been very flexible buried in all that tissue, it probably didn’t need to be – some of its main prey would have been large slow-moving dicynodonts, and its hunting strategy may have consisted of simply “aim at food and lunge”.