Stereospondyli

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Stereospondyls
Temporal range: Late Permian–Early Cretaceous
Peltobatrachus BW.jpg
Life restoration of Peltobatrachus pustulatus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: "Amphibia" (wide sense)
Order: Temnospondyli
Clade: Stereospondylomorpha
Suborder: Stereospondyli
Families

See below

The Stereospondyli are a group of extinct temnospondyl amphibians. Relative to other early tetrapods (labyrinthodonts), they had simplified backbones, where the whole vertebra was made of a single intercentrum, topped by a neural arch. The whole vertebral structure was rather weak, meaning that most stereospondyls were aquatic. Indeed, the family Plagiosauridae appear to have been wholly aquatic and retained their larval gills in adulthood.

Stereospondyls first appeared during the Late Permian. During this time, the two major groups of stereospondyls, capitosaurians and trematosaurians, appeared. Stereospondyls were relatively uncommon in the Paleozoic, outnumbered by the more diverse euskelians. During this time, they were endemic to Gondwana. Many early groups of temnospondyls went extinct during the Permian-Triassic extinction event but stereospondyls likely survived in Australia or Antarctica, radiating worldwide in the Triassic.

Stereospondyls were the latest-surviving temnospondyl group. With the diversification of crocodile-like archosaurs and an extinction event at the end of the Triassic, most other temnospondyls disappeared. Two families of stereospondyls survived into the Jurassic, and some appear to have survived into the Early Cretaceous in Gondwana. Koolasuchus is the latest known stereospondyl, living during the late Early Cretaceous in what is now Australia in areas that would then have been too cold for crocodiles.

Classification[edit]

Phylogeny[edit]

Stereospondyli


Plagiosauridae



Peltobatrachidae





Lapillopsidae




Rhinesuchidae



Rhytidostea

Lydekkerinidae




Indobrachyopidae




Rhytidosteidae


Brachyopoidea

Brachyopidae



Chigutisauridae







Capitosauria

Mastodonsauroidea



Trematosauria

Benthosuchus




Thoosuchidae



Metoposauroidea

Almasauridae



Metoposauridae




Trematosauridae










Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  • Yates, A. M. & Warren, A. A. (2000), The phylogeny of the 'higher' temnospondyls (Vertebrata: Choanata) and its implications for the monophyly and origins of the Stereospondyli. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 128: 77-121.