Incredible, 2.3" Serrated Phytosaur (Smilosuchus?) Tooth - Arizona
This is an absolutely massive, 2.3" long tooth of a Triassic Phytosaur collected from the Chinle Formation of Arizona. We've never encountered a phytosaur tooth this impressive before. While a number of types of phytosaurs are known from the location, the sheer size of the tooth makes Smilosuchus, the largest Phytosaur found there the most likely candidate. Aside from some enamel chipping in spots around the tooth and some chipping of the serrations, this tooth is in excellent condition. There is no repair or restoration to this tooth.
Phytosaurs are members of the order Phytosauria. These are semiaquatic, crocodile like reptiles characterized by long snouts, conical teeth, short legs and long, low slung bodies. They had skin armored with scale like scutes. It is not clearly understood when Phytosaurus evolved. A number of apparently antecedent species have been found in the fossil record but their relationship to Phytosaurs is still being debated. Phytosaurus disappears from the fossil record during the Triassic- Jurassic Extinction, about 200 million years ago.