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Cardiocephalus peabodyi - limb (5)

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Description

Origin : Oklahoma (U.S.A.) - Fissure Fills Richard's Spur

Geological era : Lower Permian (Kungurian)

Age : 277-275 million of years

Size : mm 5 x 1 x 1


fossil fragment limb bone of microsaur, a small primitive amphibian, mm 5 x 1 x 1, in plexiglas box, diam. cm 3.

Cardiocephalus (synonym Gymnarthrus) is a genus of an extinct small amphibian, belonging to the leponspondyl microsaurs (Amphibia - Microsauria - Gymnarthridae). It lived in the Lower Permian (about 277 - 275 million years ago) and its fossil remains were found in North America (Texas and Oklahoma).
The body of this animal was elongated and thin, and contained more than thirty presacral vertebrae. The legs were particularly short and weak. The skull was compact, with large, conical marginal teeth whose tips were flattened sideways. Cardiocephalus was small, and did not exceed 20 centimeters in length. Two species are known, distinguished mainly by the size and shape of the skull: the type species, C. sternbergi, was equipped with small orbits and a smaller skull, and the articulation of the mandible was positioned relatively forward. C. peabodyi, instead, was usually larger, with larger orbits and a larger skull. In both species there were rows of teeth on the bones of the palate.
Cardiocephalus sternbergi was first described in 1904 by Broili, based on fossils found in Texas, in the Arroyo formation. Later, in 1910, another amphibian, Gymnarthrus willoughbyi, was described by E. C. Case from the same lands. This species was later considered to be identical to the first species. In 1978 Carroll and Gaskill described the C. peabodyi species from the lower Permian of Richards Spurs in Oklahoma in their work on microsaurs.
Cardiocephalus is a small representative of gimnartrids, a group of microsaurs amphibians with aquatic habits and characterized by small legs, elongated bodies and skulls with only one row of marginal conical teeth. Similar to Cardiocephalus were Euryodus and Sparodus.



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