Whatcheeriidae

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Whatcheeriidae
Temporal range: Early Carboniferous
Pederpes22small.jpg
Pederpes finneyi
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sarcopterygii
Superclass: Tetrapoda
Family: Whatcheeriidae
Clack, 2002

Whatcheeriidae was a family of tetrapods which lived in the Mississippian sub-period, a subdivision of the Carboniferous period. It contains the genera Pederpes, Whatcheeria, and possibly Ossinodus. Fossils of a possible whatcheeriid have been found from the Red Hill locality of Pennsylvania. If these remains are from a whatcheeriid, they extend the range of the family into the Late Devonian and suggest that advanced tetrapods may have lived alongside primitive tetrapod ancestors like Hynerpeton and Densignathus.[1] They also imply that a very long ghost lineage of whatcheeriids lived through Romer's gap, a period during the Early Carboniferous conspicuously lacking in tetrapod remains.[2]

Taxonomy[edit]

Currently, using modern cladistic taxonomy, Whatcheeriidae is not placed in Amphibia or any other class but simply as its own family within Tetrapoda, with its relationships with other tetrapods left unclear.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Daeschler, E.B.; Clack, J.A.; and Shubin, N.H. (2009). "Late Devonian tetrapod remains from Red Hill, Pennsylvania, USA: how much diversity?". Acta Zoologica 90 (s1): 306–317. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6395.2008.00361.x. 
  2. ^ Smithson, T.R.; Wood, S.P.; Marshall, J.E.A.; and Clack, J.A. (2012). "Earliest Carboniferous tetrapod and arthropod faunas from Scotland populate Romer's Gap". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. in press. doi:10.1073/pnas.1117332109.