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Branchiosaurus
Fossil range: Lower Permian
Branchiosaurus Fossil
Scientific classification

Order:

Temnospondyli

Suborder:

Euskelia

Superfamily:

Eryopoidea

Family:

Eryopidae

Species:

Branchiosaurus

* B. gracilis Credner, 1881

  • B. pusillus Frič, 1878
  • B. salamandroides Fritsch, 1875
  • B. umbrosus Fritsch, 1879

No information



Branchiosaurus (Greek for "gill lizard") is an extinct genus of small, lightly-built early prehistoric amphibians. Fossils have been discovered in strata dating from the late Pennsylvanian Epoch to the Permian Period. The taxa may be invalid; the material referred to the genus may be juvenile specimens of larger amphibians.

This tiny amphibian was very similar to the Rachitomi, differing primarily in size. Other distinguishing characteristics include a less ossified skeleton and a shorter skull. Clear traces of gills are present in many fossilized samples, hence the name.

Originally thought to have vertebrae distinct from rachitomous vertebrae, it was placed in a separate order named Phyllospondyli ("leaf vertebrae"). Later analysis of growth stages showed increasing ossification in larger specimens, which showed that it was the larval stage of much larger rachitomes like Eryops.

ReferencesEdit

  • Andrew R. Milner, "The Tetrapod Assemblage from Nýrany, Czechoslovakia", in Systematics Association Special Volume No.15, "The Terrstrial Environment and the Orogin of Land Vertebrates", ed. by A. L. Panchen, 1980, pp.439-496, Academic Press, London and New York

External linksEdit

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