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Temporal range: Early Carboniferous Visean
Balanerpeton BW.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Temnospondyli
Family: Dendrerpetontidae
Genus: Balanerpeton
Milner & Sequeira, 1994
Species: B. woodi
Binomial name
Balanerpeton woodi
Milner & Sequeira, 1994

Balanerpeton is an extinct genus of temnospondyl amphibian from the Visean stage of the Early Carboniferous period.[1] It reached approximately 50 cm (20 in) in length.[2] Balanerpeton woodi was discovered by Stanley Wood and is the earliest and most common tetrapod in the East Kirkton Quarry assemblage of terrestrial amphibians in Scotland. Characteristics of Balanerpeton woodi include the presence of large external nares, large interpterygoid vacuities (holes in the back of the palate), and an ear with a tympanic membrane and rod-like stapes. Numerous studies and research regarding ontogeny in non extant taxa have been oriented around this taxon. [3] The morphology of the stapes suggests that the animal was capable of hearing high-frequency sound. B. woodi does not possess lateral line sulci or an ossified branchial system. The principal method of respiration was probably buccal (gulping air through mouth) rather than costal (expanding chest volume to take in air), indicated by the small straight ribs.


  1. ^ Balanerpeton woodi on the Palaeos website
  2. ^ R. Cowen, History of Life, 4th ed., Oxford, U. K. : Blackwell Publishing, 2005.
  3. ^ Milner, A. R. and Sequeira, S. E. K., 1993. Trans Royal Soc Edinburgh. Earth Sciences 84:331-361