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For Diplocaulids the inferred jaw mechanics indicate a powerful closing and a rapid positive opening mechanism to enable the capture of active prey. Teeth were adapted for gripping rather than impaling. Occlusal pressure aided gripping and crushing of possible hard shells of carboniferous crustaceans and insects. The boomerang-shaped heads Diploceraspis and Diplocaulus may well have acted like a hydrofoil providing lift during feeding (Cruickshank & Skews 1980).

On the other hand Urocordylids had dentition and jaw mechanics more suited to snapping at, and impaling prey.

Scincosaurus, living in leaf-litter, may have feed on insects.

Other small fish, lungfish “tadpoles” and larval amphibia are all possibilities for other food sources.

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Author: Iain McIntyre
Last updated: 19/11/2006
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