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Temporal range: Late Carboniferous, 307.1–302 Ma
Microbrachis in Vienna.jpg
Fossil of Microbrachis pelikani
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subclass: Lepospondyli
Order: "Microsauria"
Family: Microbrachidae
Fritsch, 1883
Genus: Microbrachis
Fric, 1875
Type species
Microbrachis pelikani
Fric, 1875

Microbrachis ('small arm') is an extinct genus of lepospondyl amphibian from the Carboniferous period of what is now the Czech Republic.

Life restoration of Microbrachis pelikani

Microbrachis was an elongated, salamander-like creature, about 15 centimetres (6 in) long, with over 40 vertebrae instead of the average 15-26 in its living relatives. It had minute limbs, and probably swam using fish-like lateral body movements. Microbrachis probably fed on fresh water plankton such as shrimp. Microbrachis was pedomorphic, retaining its larval gills in adulthood. Similar traits are found in the extant axolotl.[1]


  1. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 55. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 
  • Andrew R. Milner, "The Tetrapod Assemblage from Nýrany, Czechoslovakia", in Systematics Association Special Volume No.15, "The Terrestrial Environment and the Origin of Land Vertebrates", ed. by A. L. Panchen, 1980, pp.439-496, Academic Press, London and New York

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