Saturday, November 12, 2011


Though amphibians today are small and tend to take a backseat to larger vertebrates in terms of dominance, they were once some of the top land animals on the planet! During the Carboniferous and Permian periods, before the dawn of the Dinosaurs, Amphibians were some of the largest land animals around, and the size even carried over for millions of years after the Permian ended.

Meet Metoposaurus, an amphibian that measured up to 10ft long and lived during the Triassic over 220 million years ago. Though unrelated, it did share some physical similarities to modern alligators and crocodiles- a long, broad snout, sharp teeth, and a long tail that helped to propel them through water.

Metoposaurus was an aquatic hunter, as evidence by the tail and by the fact that their limbs were relatively weak. Scientists think they may have even used their arms like flippers! Even so, I wouldn't want to mess with a 1,000lb tetrapod!

Status : Extinct for 220 million years
Location : Europe and North America
Size : Length up to 10ft (3m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Amphibia -- Order : Temnospondyli
Family : Metoposauridae -- Genus : Metoposaurus

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