Euparkeria was a moderate sized animal that played only a minor role in its ecosystem. At first glance, with its sharp, pointed teeth, scaly skin and sprawled stance, it may just look like the many other reptiles that lived in the Triassic. However, look a bit closer and it becomes apparent just how unuique and important this small predator was.
Euparkeria has a number of remarkable adaptations that would later be developed in later dinosaur groups. The most important feature linking Euparkeria to other archosaurs is the large oval shaped opening in front of the eye socket. Also, like many other archosaurs, it's back was shielded with numerous bony plates, called osteoderms. Despite its slightly sprawilng posture, Euparkeria might have stood more upright than other reptiles. Because it's forelimbs are significantly shorter than the hind limbs, many scientists think that it may have been able to walk on two legs, at least part of the time.
So although it barely resembles a dinosaur, crocodile or a bird, Euparkeria is, in fact, one of the oldest archosaurs. This means that it is a major evolutionary step on the line towards the dinosaurs.
Euparkeria is known from several fossils, all discovered within a small region of South Arfica. Rocks in this area date from the very Early Triassic period, and record a group of aminals that had evolved in the after,although of the devastating Permo - Triassic extinction event. Therapsids, also known as "mammal like reptiles", are commonly found alongside Euparkeria. These, large, ferocious predators probably preyed on the small archosaur. However, Euparkeria was also a predator, and probably fed on smaller vertebrates.