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Temporal range: Early Carboniferous
Pederpes finneyi
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Stegocephalia
Family: Whatcheeriidae
Clack, 2002

Whatcheeriidae is an extinct 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]


Currently, using modern cladistic taxonomy, Whatcheeriidae is not placed in Amphibia or any other class but simply as its own family within stem-group tetrapods. The analysis below was conducted by Swartz in 2012, showing the relationship of whatcheeriids with other stem-tetrapods.[3]


Panderichthys Panderichthys BW.jpg


Tiktaalik Tiktaalik BW.jpg


Elginerpeton Elginerpeton BW.jpg


Acanthostega Acanthostega BW.jpg

Ichthyostega Ichthyostega BW.jpg

Whatcheeriidae Pederpes22small.jpg

Colosteidae Greererpeton BW.jpg

Crassigyrinus Crassigyrinus BW.jpg


Crown group Tetrapoda Seymouria BW.jpg


  1. ^ Daeschler, E.B.; Clack, J.A.; 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.; 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. 109: 4532–4537. doi:10.1073/pnas.1117332109. PMC 3311392. PMID 22393016.
  3. ^ Swartz, B. (2012). "A marine stem-tetrapod from the Devonian of Western North America". PLoS ONE. 7 (3): e33683. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033683. PMC 3308997. PMID 22448265.