Etymology: Long tibia 

Collected  Species: Macrocnemus bassanii

Systematic  Palaeontology: Archosauromorpha; Prolacertiformes

Distribution: Grenzbitumenzone (Anisian-Ladinian boundary) 

Locality: Besano-Monte San Giorgio (Lombardy/Switzerland)

Repository: Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano; Paläontologisches Institut und Museum Zürich


Macrocnemus is a small to medium sized prolacertiform reptile with a moderately elongate neck and a great length disparity between anterior and posterior limbs. The jaws were lined up by small sharp teeth suggesting that it may have fed upon insects and small vertebrates. The fifth toe was short and  not modified unlike in Tanystropheus and Langobardisaurus. Recently a juvenile specimen was collected  in which  skin preserved around the pelvis and tail. The scales fossilized,  enabling us to reconstruct the pattern of squamation in these regions. 


Drawing of the preserved skin patches (drawing by M. Avanzini)


Artwork by S. Renesto unless otherwise indicated. Please do not reproduce/repost/republish etc. any text or image without asking permission to the author


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