Dyrosauridae is a family of extinct neosuchian crocodyliforms that lived from the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) to the Eocene. Fossils of this group have been found in almost every continent, specifically Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America.
Dyrousaurids were one of the few groups of marine reptiles to survive the End Cretaceous mass extinction. Several distinct genera have been documented, varying in overal size and cranial shape. Genera such as Dyrosaurus possessed long, slender jaws with numerous teeth (indicative of a primarily fish diet much like the extant gharial). It was a large animal, growing up to 6 meters (20 feet) in length. Even bigger, possibly up to 9 meters (30 feet), was Phosphatosaurus. More robust in its morphology, its jaws were relatively shorter, wider and much stronger, with large, partly rounded teeth. This jaw morphology would have been unsuitable for grasping slippery prey; instead a diet involving catching and crushing larger marine animals (such as sea turtles) is more likely.
Dyrosaurids were once considered an African group, but more recent discoveries indicate they inhabited the majority of the continents. In fact, basal forms suggest that their cradle may have been North America.
Composite cladogram for Dyrosauridae (from Jouve et al. 2008 and Barbosa et al. 2008):
Dyrosauridae incertae sedis:
Dyrosaurids were a group of marine crocodiles.