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Temporal range: Late Carboniferous
Megalocephalus sp.JPG
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Family: Baphetidae
Subfamily: Loxommatinae
Genus: Megalocephalus
Barkas, 1873
Type species
Megalocephalus pachycephalus
Barkas, 1873
  • Megalocephalus pachycephalus[1] Barkas, 1873
  • Megalocephalus lineolatus[2] Cope, 1877
  • Anisodexis Cope, 1882

Megalocephalus (meaning "big head") is an extinct genus of baphetid amphibian from the late Carboniferous of the British Isles.[3] It contains two species, M. pachycephalus and M. lineolatus.[2]



Megalocephalus was a small amphibian, measuring 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) from head to tail.[3]


It is only known from its skull, like most other baphetids. The skull of Megalocephalus was 30 centimetres (12 in) long. The teeth of Megalocephalus were long and pointed. Baphetids had a small elongation of their eye sockets, of which the current use for is not certain. It has been suggested that the elongation was housing for a salt gland to get rid of excess salt, or an extra region for jaw muscle attachments, to allow a harder bite force.[3]


  1. ^ "Megalocephalus Fossil from Maoming, Guangdong, China". Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  2. ^ a b "Confirmation of Romer's Gap as a low oxygen interval constraining the timing of initial arthropod and vertebrate terrestrialization". Ward et al. National Academy of Sciences. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  3. ^ a b c Benson, R.; Anderson, J.; Brusatte, S.; Clack, J.; Dennis-Bryan, K.; Duffin, C.; Hone, D.; Naish, D.; Xu, X.; Prothero, D.; Parsons, K.; Milner, A.; Johanson, Z. (2012). Prehistoric Life. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-7566-9910-9.

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