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Biogeography of CrocodYlians Joyce Ann Boutilier Distribution Crocodiles Caimans Phylogeny Evolution Alligators Gharials From the beginning… Some background… Crocodylian ancestors first arose during the Mesozoic Era Mesozoic Era = ~ 251 mya to 65 mya Anapsid Diapsid

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Presentation Transcript
slide2

Distribution

Crocodiles

Caimans

Phylogeny

Evolution

Alligators

Gharials

slide4

Some background…

  • Crocodylian ancestors first arose during the Mesozoic Era
  • Mesozoic Era = ~ 251 mya to 65 mya

Anapsid

Diapsid

TRIASSIC 200 million years ago

JURASSIC 135 million years ago

CRETACEOUS 65 million years ago

slide7

The Crocodylian Body Plan…

  • Very successful body plan
  • Eyes and nose on top of skull
  • Semi-erect posture
  • All four resemble each other
  • However, some differences:
    • salt excreting organs
    • snout shape
slide8

Evolution Controversy

Traditional Hypothesis

Haemothermia Hypothesis

slide9

The families: Classification

  • Order Crocodylia
      • Superfamily Gavialoidea
        • Family Gavialidae - Gharials
      • Superfamily Alligatoridea
        • Family Alligatoridae
          • Subfamily Diplocynodontinae (extinct)
          • Subfamily Alligatorinae- Alligators
          • Subfamily Caimaninae- Caimans
      • Superfamily Crocodyloidea
        • Family Crocodylidae
          • Subfamily Mekosuchinae (extinct)
          • Subfamily Crocodylinae - Crocodiles
slide10

Let’s meet the families…

Alligatoridae

Crocodylidae

Gavialidae

From the top: American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), Indian gharial (Gavialis gangeticus)

slide11

Family Alligatoridae

American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

Chinese alligator (Alligator sinesis)

slide12

Alligatoridae

Paleosuchus palpebrosus

Paleosuchus trigonatus

Caiman yacare

Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis

Melanosuchus niger

Caiman crocodilus

Caiman latirostris

Caiman crocodilus fuscus

slide13

Crocodylidae

C. acutus

C. moreletii

C. cataphractus

C. intermedius

C. siamensis

C. johnstoni

C. mindorensis

Osteolaemus tetraspis

C. rhombifer

C. niloticus

C.novaeguineae

C. palustris

Crocodylus porosus

slide14

Which is which??

  • Shape of the jaw
    • V-shaped, pointy snouts versus U-shaped, round snouts
  • Teeth
    • Fourth tooth showing versus covered up when closed
  • Habitat
    • Special glands in their tongues work well versus not well means saltwater habitats versus freshwater habitats.

CROCODILE

ALLIGATOR

slide15

Gharials

Family Gavialidae

Actually Crocodylidae!!

Gavialis gangeticus

Indian Gharial

Tomistoma schlegelii False Gharial

slide16

Gavialidae Controversy

  • Schematic view of crocodilian
  • Relationships based on
  • morphological and
  • (B) molecular data
slide19

Modern Crocodylians: Number of Species per Country

Note: this does not show the actual geographic distribution of crocodilians.

slide20

Alligatoridae Distribution

Alligator and Caiman Range:

southern United States and

eastern China; caimans are

found in Central America

and South America

American Alligator

(Alligator mississippiensis)

slide21

Alligatoridae Distribution

China: restricted to areas

Around the lower

Yangzi River

Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis)

slide22

Alligatoridae Distribution

Spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus )

Caiman Range:

Central America

and South America

Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica,

Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador,

French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras,

Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru,

Puerto Rico, Surinam, Tobago, Trinidad,

United States, Venezuela

slide23

Crocodylidae Distribution

Crocodile Range:

Mexico, Central and

South America, Africa,

Southeast Asia, and

Australia

American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus)

slide24

Gavialidae Distribution

Historical range of gharials: India, Pakistan, and Nepal. Numbers very low or extinct in Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Burma. Not an accurate representation of present distribution,

which is more restricted now.

slide32

CLASS REPTILIA

ORDER CROCODYLIA

  • FAMILY ALLIGATORIDAE
    • Genus Alligator
      • Alligator mississippiensis
      • Alligator sinesis
    • Genus Caiman
      • Caiman crocodilus
      • Caiman latirostris
      • Caiman yacare
    • Genus Melanosuchus
      • Melanosuchus niger
    • Genus Paleosuchus
      • Paleosuchus palpebrosus
      • Paleosuchus trigonatus
  • FAMILY GAVIALIDAE
    • Genus Gavialis
      • Gavialis gangeticus
  • FAMILY CROCODYLIDAE
  • Subfamily Crocodylinae
    • Genus Crocodylus
      • Crocodylus acutus Crocodylus cataphractus Crocodylus intermedius Crocodylus johnstoni Crocodylus mindorensis Crocodylus moreletii Crocodylus niloticus Crocodylus novaeguineae Crocodylus palustris Crocodylus porosus Crocodylus rhombifer Crocodylus siamensis Osteolamus tetraspis
  • Subfamily Tomistominae
    • Genus Tomistoma
      • Tomistoma schlegelii