Early Temnosopndyls

Early Carboniferous to late Permian

Early Temnospondyls such as Dendrerpeton and Cochleosaurus were medium length Temnospondyls. They reached up to 1.5m in lenght in the case of Cochleosaurus. They were mostly semi aquatic and most likely fed on small fish, although there is some suggestion that they may have fed on terrestrial athropods too.

Other mostly aquatic forms of Temnospondyl were also present during this time. These forms were mostly small and aquatic. One Genus in particular, Branchiosaurus, appears to have retained external gills, much like the modern day axolotl. It has been suggested that, like modern axolotls, the Branchiosaurs are actually a larval stage and do not represent the true adult form. They were more salamander and newt size as opposed to the larger semi aquatic versions of the Temnospondyls.

A.                                                  B.

Figure A shows a reconstruction of Dendrerpeton arcadianum. Again the reconstruction is inaccurate with regards to the number of digits on the forelimb. There should be 4 instead of 5.
Figure B shows an early temnopondyl trapped in a hollow tree stump. The majority of the temnospondyls fossils found are inside fossil tree stumps. It is suggested that these trees were snapped and various temnospondyls, microsaurs and arthropods became trapped after falling in. Another suggestion is that they made nests in the tree stumps.

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