This paper describes the skull of Allodaposuchus precedens Nopcsa, 1928 and provides the first complete diagnosis of the species. The description of the holotype, which comes from the Upper Cretaceous deposits of Valioara in the Hateg Basin of Romania (Late Maastrichtian), is included with those of other undescribed specimens from the uppermost Cretaceous of Spain and southern France. All the specimens preserve the same anatomical region as the holotype and provide new relevant information on the genus Allodaposuchus and its phylogenetic position. The phylogenetic context of A. precedens is discussed in the context of a recent cladistic analysis of Eusuchia and its crown-group Crocodylia. Allodaposuchus is unambiguously the sister taxon of the crown-group Crocodylia, sharing with this clade the absence of a lingual to maxillary occlusion of the dentary teeth, and the extension of the ectopterygoid that does not reach the posterior tip of the lateral pterygoid flange, among other characters. The phylogenetic analysis also raises the problem of the ambiguous definition of Eusuchia, since the characters traditionally used in its diagnosis are multiply derived. Allodaposuchus is an outstanding crocodyliform providing new anatomical evidence concerning the stem-group of Crocodylia, and filling the gap between the Early Cretaceous (Barremian) Hylaeochampsa and the earliest common ancestor of Crocodylia.
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Vol. 21 • No. 1