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Eryops Fossil Scute Skull Giant Amphibian Primitive Permian Collection (2)

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Origin : Texas (U.S.A) - Red Beds

Geological era : Lower Permian (Kungurian)

Age : 280 million of years

Size : 3 gr - mm 28 x 17 x 6

Fossil Bone Armor Plate Skull Prehistoric Giant Amphibian mm 28 x 17 x 6 - gr 3 Eryops megacephalus Extinct Temnospondyl Labyrinthodonts Paleozoic Permian Collecting Paleontology Museum.

Remarkable representative collectible fossil find (ring of passage between Amphibians and Reptiles), good quality Osteoderm Scute protecting the Skull, well preserved, with appreciable details of the bone structure and surface texture.

No restoration at all. Only a piece, as in photos.

Eryops megacephalus is a large extinct Temnospondyle Amphibian. It lived between the Upper Carboniferous and Lower Permian (about 300 - 278 million years ago) and its fossil remains have been found in North America.
This animal had an average length of 1.5 - 2 meters, but the largest specimens could reach 3 meters; they were among the largest land animals of their time. Adults weighed about 90 Kg. The skull was large, broad and flat and reached a length of 60 centimetres. Eryops had a huge mouth, with many curved and sharp teeth. The teeth had an enamel with a pattern of numerous folds; this type of tooth structure led to its initial classification as a "labyrinthodont" ("labyrinth tooth"). The shape and cross-section of Eryops teeth indicate that they were exceptionally strong and resistant to stress. The palate was also equipped with three pairs of backward-curving fangs, and was covered with backward-pointing bony projections that may have been used to trap slippery prey once captured.
The skeleton of Eryops was much more robust and massive than that of most temnospondyls of the time. The limbs were particularly large and strong, and the pelvic and shoulder girdles much more specialized, resulting in improved terrestrial locomotion.
A mummified specimen showed that the animal's body in life was covered with oval dermal scutes (Romer and Witter, 1941).
The genus Eryops was described for the first time by Edward Drinker Cope in 1877, on the basis of fossil remains found in Lower Permian (Sakmarian, about 195 million years ago) soils in Texas; the type species is Eryops megacephalus, particularly well known thanks to a notable number of excellently preserved specimens from the Lower Permian of the southwestern United States (Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico); in particular, the best fossils come from the Admiral Formation of the Texas Red Beds.
Eryops is one of the best-known temnospondyls, both in terms of the mass of fossils found and in terms of scientific studies based on fossils and its diffusion in popular culture. Eryops is the eponymous genus of the superfamily Eryopoidea and the family Eryopidae; the latter includes some large amphibians with at least partially terrestrial habits, typical of the Carboniferous and Permian.
Eriopes were among the most formidable carnivores of the Permian, and perhaps the only ones capable of competing with the dominant synapsids of the time, such as e.g. Dimetrodon. They were probably semiaquatic, as suggested by the microanatomy of the long bones. Eryops lived in lowland habitats, in and around ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers; the arrangement and shape of their teeth suggests that they probably ate mostly large fish and aquatic tetrapods. Eryops' body was relatively rigid and its tail robust; this indicates that these animals were not great swimmers. Although they probably fed on fish, adult Eryops must have spent most of their time on land.
Like other large archaic temnospondyls, Eryops grew slowly and gradually from aquatic larvae, but did not undergo a drastic metamorphosis like that of many modern amphibians. While adults likely lived in ponds and rivers, or ventured onto their banks, juvenile Eryops may have lived in swamps, which may have offered more shelter from predators.
A study of the locomotor possibilities of Eryops showed that the anatomy of the legs was not inconsistent with a salamander-like gait, with a wave-like movement of the body and with legs placed on the sides of the body.
A fossil of Eryops megacephalus is preserved in the Civic Museum of Natural History of Milan, while a reconstruction of eriops is present in the Prehistory Park of Rivolta d'Adda.

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