Facts about Temnospondyls, an extinct prehistoric animal

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Other Prehistoric Animals   >   Temnospondyls



Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Amphibia
  Order Temnospondyli
Temnospondyls were an order of amphibians that evolved during the Carboniferous period, perhaps around 350 million years ago, and were successful during the the Carboniferous, Permian, and Triassic periods. The majority of them became extinct at around end of the Triassic, but some survived through the Jurassic and into the Cretaceous, with the last Temnospondyls dying out around 100 million years ago.

Temnospondyls were extremly diverse, and during their history adapted to many different environments, including freshwater, semi-aquatic fresh water, and terrestrial. One group of fish-eaters, the Trematosaurs even adapted to marine environments - the only amphibians ever to do so (apart from the modern crab-eating frog which can tolerate salt water environments). Additionally, Temnospondyls might well include the ancestors of modern frogs and salamanders (see Gerobatrachus)

Temnospondyls varied greatly in size and shape. The largest was Prionosuchus, which was in fact the largest amphibian known, and which could grow as long as 30 feet (9 meters). In terms of shape, some Temnospondyls resembled newts, and in some cases even retained gills, some grew robust limbs and adapted to life on land (although these tended to be gradually displaced by reptiles as time progressed), and some (including Prionosuchus) resembled crocodiles without armor.

Click here for more Temnospondyl Pictures

Temnospondyls Timeline:

Temnospondyls were amphibians that lived between 350 and 100 million years ago

Temnospondyls were amphibians that lived between 350 and 100 million years ago

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