Crocodylia have a rich fossil record that reaches back in the Late Cretaceous and are considered as a model clade for the exploration of phylogenetic problems due to the combination of the dense fossil record, the low extant diversity as well as the broad range of divergence time between living species.
The group first appeared in the Campanian with a diversity peak in the Eocene and Miocene. In the last twenty years, numerous scientists studied a large number of different fossils from all over the world, which changed the understanding of this group dramatically.
While there is a rich fossil record of Crocodylia in general, eastern Asia is relatively poorly sampled.
An excavation side in Vietnam (Na Duong), however, offers the combination of species diversity from all three major crocodilian groups and the abundance and excellent preservation of fossils makes this material extremely valuable for scientific research.
The goal of my PhD is the description and phylogenetic study of the material, to untangle the biogeographic history of Asian Paleogene Alligatorids, as well as to understand the early evolution of Crocodyloidea and helping to solve the discrepancy between molecular and morphological data.