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Abler also examined a phytosaur's teeth, finding that it had had serrations so fine that they resembled a crack in the tooth.Phytosaurs have been traditionally held as rather "primitive" animals in regards to terrestrial locomotion, particularly in regards to archosaurs such as crocodilians, lacking the erect gait seen in these, other pseudosuchians, dinosaurs and pterosaurs.
Pseudopalatus is an altirostral phytosaur, and was most likely a generalist feeder.
Brachyrostral ("short snouted") forms are the opposite, having a massive, broad snout, and very strong skulls and jaws, they are heterodont, as the front teeth are prominent fangs, and the rear teeth are blade-like for slicing food into chunks that can easily be swallowed.
Taxa like this, such as Nicrosaurus or Smilosuchus were powerful taxa that fed on stronger prey, such as terrestrial animals that came to the water to drink.
For many years phytosaurs were considered to be the most basal group of Pseudosuchia (crocodile-line archosaurs), meaning that they were thought to be more closely related to the crocodilians than to birds (the other living group of archosaurs).
Recent studies of the evolutionary relationships of early archosauriforms suggest that phytosaurs evolved before the split between crocodile- and bird-line archosaurs and are the sister taxon of Archosauria.