The Crato Formation is a famous fossil lagerstätte located in northeastern Brazil’s Araripe Plateau. This formation is largely made up of limestones formed under the waves of the newly formed Atlantic Ocean. It was formed about 110 million years ago in the Early Cretaceous, and is about 10 million years before the Santana Formation, another lagerstätte in the same part of Brazil.
Many of the Crato animals are known from exquisite soft tissue remains. This especially goes for the insect specimens from the Crato, of which beautiful wing impressions are known. There are also extensive remains of plants, especially of angiosperms otherwise known as flowering plants. Among these are genera of ancestral water lilies, among the oldest flowering plants. There are also ancestors of the strange gymnosperm Welwitschia, today only living in the Namib Desert in southern Africa.
Crato is best known for its pterosaurs, and just like Santana there was a great diversity of diets. Tupandactylus is a tapejarid, with its large wingspan of 5 meters and an immense head perched on a small body. Another tapejarid is Aymberedactylus, known only from a lower jaw. The chaoyangopterid Lacusovagus must have been one of the main predators in the region, with a lifestyle as a big terrestrial stalker. A marine fisher from this formation was the Ornithocheirid Ludodactylus, with long toothed jaws and a large crest superficially like Pteranodon.
Susisuchus is a well-known genus of crocodylomorph from this formation. It was very close to the ancestry of the living crocodiles, and good soft tissue remains have been found. Susisuchus was a very small animal, at around a meter in length. It probably fed on fish and other small animals.