|Cervical vertebra K20/613 in multiple views|
Huene & Matley, 1933
Laevisuchus (//, "light crocodile") is a genus of abelisauroid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous. Its remains were discovered by Charles Alfred Matley near Jabalpur in Maastrichtian deposits in the Lameta Formation in India, and were named and described by paleontologists Friedrich von Huene and Matley in 1933. The type species is Laevisuchus indicus. The generic name is derived from Latin laevis, "light" and the Greek name for the Egyptian crocodile god, Soukhos. The specific name means "Indian" in Latin. It is known only from three cervical vertebrae (GSI K20/613, GSI K20/614 and GSI K27/696) and a dorsal vertebra (GSI K27/588). A holotype was not assigned by Huene and Matley and a lectotype has never been chosen from the syntypes. All remains except GSI K27/696 were lost; GSI K20/613 was rediscovered in 2012.
Laevisuchus was a small bipedal carnivore. In 1998 David Lambert estimated it was some two metres (6.6 ft) long, 0.9 meters (3.0 feet) high, and approximately 30 kg (66 lb) in weight.
Laevisuchus was originally classified by Huene as a coelurid due to the similarity of its vertebrae with those of Aristosuchus. However, an analysis in 2004 has shown it to be an abelisauroid because of its long epipophyses, a pair of foramina on the centrum, and low and triangular neural spines. The vertebrae specifically resemble those of noasaurids like Masiakasaurus and Noasaurus due to having more anteriorly placed neural spines and posteriorly reduced epipophyses