|Named By:||Robert Broom in 1908|
|Time Period:||Late Permian|
|Location:||South Africa, Karoo basin|
|Size:||1 - 3 meteres long|
|Fossil(s):||Several specimens but some are only fragmentary remains|
|Classification:||| Chordata | Amphibia | Temnospondyli | Stereospondyli | Rhinesuchidae ||
Rhinesuchus is a large temnospondyl amphibian. Fossil remains of the genus are known from the Permian of the South African Karoo Basins Tapinocephalus and Cistecephalus assemblage zones, both of the Beaufort Group.
The skull on Rhinesuchus had a flat triangular shape with blunt snout similar to some of the other large amphibians and had a palate filled with small sharp teeth suggesting that it hunted fish. Also, the small eyes were on top of the head suggesting that it approached its prey from below.
It is a popular misconception that Rhinesuchus is named after the Rhine River in Europe, but Rhinesuchus actually gets its name from the Greek word for nose. Two more species, R. africanus and R. wadiai, are considered to be nomen dubium, while others have been found to be other species. At the time of writing only R.broomianus and R. capensis are recognised.