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Temporal range: Early Permian, Kungurian
Cacops Field Museum.jpg
Skeleton of Cacops aspidephorus in the Field Museum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: "Amphibia" (wide sense)
Order: Temnospondyli
Family: Dissorophidae
Clade: Eucacopinae
Genus: Cacops
Williston, 1910
  • C. aspidephorus Williston, 1910 (type)
  • C. morrisi Reisz et al., 2009
  • C. woehri Fröbisch and Reisz, 2012

Cacops is a genus of dissorophid temnospondyl that is known from the Kungurian stage of the Early Permian of the central United States.[1]

Cacops aspidephorus.
A restoration of the skeleton of Cacops by Samuel Wendell Williston, who named the genus in 1910.

It was about 40 centimetres (16 in) long and well adapted to a terrestrial lifestyle, with a heavily built skull, strong legs, a short tail, and a row of armor plates along its back. Compared to other dissorophids, it has an enormous otic notch in the back of the skull enclosed with a bony bar, indicating a large eardrum. Edwin Colbert suggests that perhaps it was a nocturnal animal like modern frogs. Cacops was first named by American paleontologist Samuel Wendell Williston with the description of the type species C. aspidephorus from Texas in 1910. A second species, C. morrisi, was named from Oklahoma in 2009.[1]


  • Colbert, E. H., (1969), Evolution of the Vertebrates, John Wiley & Sons Inc (2nd ed.)