Fossil Groups


Late Temnospondyls

Early Jurassic - Mid Cretaceous



Only 2 families of Temnspondyl survived the Triassic - Jurassic mass extinction. These were the two Gondwanan families, Brachyopidae and Chigutosauridae. The Brachyopidae survived and flourished in China, whilst the Chigutosauridae survived throughout Gondwana. Both groups grew to large sizes throughout the Jurassic.

The latest known fossil Temnospondyl is Koolasuchus. It is a giant Chigutosaur measuring  up to 5m in length. It is known from the middle Cretaceous of Australia originating 140Mya and disappearing 112Mya. It is suggested that it survived for this length of time by living in rift valleys in conditions that the crocodilians couldn't survive in. Pehaps it survived the cold weather by hibernating like some modern day amphibians do. Perhaps it also fed in a similar way. Koolasuchus had a very large head and mouth and it is possible that it wasa an ambush predator that sucked water and prey into its mouth by opening its mouth very quickly.


While this card is accurate in many respects, it is also wrong in a few. Note that this is not a Crocodile, no matter how tempting it may be to "put the Kool in crocodile". It is also highly unlikely that it weighed 3.5tonnes. It is more likely to weigh around half a ton.



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