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No 10 Deltasaurus

File:Deltasaurus kimberleyensis.jpg

diadectidfootwhite        diadectidfootwhite2

File:Diadectes phaseolinus.JPG

  • Order Diadectomorpha. A Late Carboniferous to Early Permian group that were close to amniotes. Most were herbivorous leaf strippers, although some were carnivorous. Diadectes, from the Western USA, Was heavily built with massive limb girdles, but short limbs.

Reconstruction of Diadectes, from Benton, 1997.

The weirdest species the team has found in the Red Beds is officially known, the species Diplocaulus, meaning “two tailed,” a reference to its double-spined tail bones.

It has an extrememly odd-looking body, with a flattened body and legs. The head, however, is pulled out to the sides in the shape of a boomerang – so extremely that by adulthood, the head could be 4 to 6 times wider than it was long. It was armor plated as well, with extremely strong jaws.
Some scientists contend that this shape may have helped Diplocaulus glide through the water – but the flattened lower body could not have contained the muscles of a strong swimmer. It’s much more likely that this was an ambush predator, who waited unseen on the bottom of a murky river until unwary prey came along.
It’s also possible that the skull served as a defensive mechanism – in which Diplocaulus may have used the points of its head as sideways horns to punch with – or as an aid for mating. Since Diplocaulus’ eyes were on the top of its head, finding and impressing a mate by sight would be near impossible. So, a larger skull makes a love connection much more likely.

Source: Wikipedia

File:Diplocaulus magnicornis Exhibit Museum of Natural History.JPG

Diplocaulus magnicornis. Exhibit Museum of Natural History, University of Michigan, 1109 Geddes Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.27 January 2011

Diplocaulus was an aquatic amphibian that grew up to 3 feet in length. Unlike most of the other reptiles and amphibians of the time, Diplocaulus was completely adapted to a water environment. They had tiny legs of little use, a boomerang shaped head and a long slender body. They also possessed a long, powerful tail that propelled them through the water, while the broad, flat head may have acted to guide the animal. The location of the eyes and nostrils on the surface of the skull suggest that this animal may have quietly laid on the bottom of pools or rivers waiting for food to get close. Diplocaulus probably fed on crustaceans, insects, and possibly carrion.

Age: Guadalupian Stage, Permian
Locality: Whitehorse Group “Red Beds” Baylor County, Texas

Diplocaulus Diplocaulus magnicornis – cast

Lower Permian  /Taylor Co. Texas / Texas Memorial Museum at Austin

Model of Diplocaulus,
Permian Amphibian

Model of Diplocaulus,
Permian Amphibian

3-feet long
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science
and The American Museum of Natural History



The origin and evolution of that “boomerang” head – part 2. Click to enlarge. Here are the taxa Beerbower (1963) associated with Diploceraspis burkei (Romer 1952). I’ve addedTuditanus which did not fuse the supratemporal and tabular and had a concave ventral maxilla among other traitsshared with Diplocaulus. These taxa are representatives from a very bushy tree. The nectrideans, like Urocordylus, do not include the supratemporal in the “horn”. Keraterpeton did not wrap the squamosal within the supratemporal. In the second example of Diplocaulus (on the right) the tabular extends beyond the supratemporal, as in Diploceraspis.

diplocaulus reconstructions


  • Discosauriscus  
Preserved heads of fossil amphibians


: Discosauriscus pulcherrimus. Amphibian fossils from the Lower Permian, Boskovice, Moravia, Czech Republic


Discosauriscus polcher was one of the primitive amphibians which had large solid skulls. This specimen, in fact, somewhat resembles a salamander with a huge head. Found near Brunn in the Czech Republic, it is over 250 million years old

is een amfibie uit het Onder-Perm. Zijn fossielen zijn gevonden in afzettingen van zoetwatermeren in midden- en west-Europa, vooral in Tsjechië. Tot nu toe zijn alleen fossielen van jonge dieren gevonden, niet van volwassen exemplaren. Dit komt waarschijnlijk omdat de volwassen dieren deze meren gebruikten om hun eieren in af te zetten, maar zelf in een andere habitat leefden. Er zijn twee soorten bekend: D. austriacusen D. pulcherrimus. Van de laatste zijn maar een paar exemplaren bekend.


  Ecolsonia cutlerensis

File:Dissorophus multicinctus.JPG

Dvinosaurus primus

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