Fossil Groups

Major Subgroups

Within the Temnospondyli there are a number of sub-groups. There are two sub orders: the Euskelia and the Limnarchia

a clade of temnospondyls

Picture from with permission.


The Euskelia (from the Greek Eu = well, and skelos = limb) contain the Superfamilies Eryopoidea (which contains the well known species Eryops as well as the family Zatrachydidae) and the Dissorophoidia (which is closely related to the species Dendrerpeton). From the Edopidae through to the Zatrachydidae on the cladogram above.

The Euskelia are defined as a stem-based taxon that includes all the temnospondyls that share a more recent common ancestor with Eryops than with Parotosuchus. They must also share certain synapomorphies in skull structure.


The Limnarchia (Greek for Marsh Ruler) contain the groups from the Dvinosauria through to the Stereospondyli on the above cladogram. The Stereospondyli survived through to the Cretaceous in the form of the Trematosauridae, a Family of stereospondyls.

The Limnarchia are defined as a stem based taxon that includes all temnospondyls that share a more common ancestor with Parotosuchus than with Eryops. Again they all share certain synapomorphies in skull structure.

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