Temnospondyl skulls in Dorsal view

dorsal view of false colour temnospondyl skulls
© 2000. Jean-Sébastien Steyer and Michel Laurin

These four skulls show the differing skull morphologies within the temnospondyl group. The different colours indicate the different bones that make up the skull. These skulls are all slightly different and some bones have been lost altogether in certain specimens. There are also additional bones in some species that are not present in others. The most notable is the Inter-Nasal bone seen in C. Note how the overall skull shape changes in different species, presumably to fit different lifestyles.

One of the features used for diagnosing a temnospondyl skull is that the Parietal bone (P) is not in contact with the Tabular bone (T). In the Antracosaurs (basal amniotes) the bones are in contact.

A is Dendrerpeton acadianum                
B is Eryops Megacephalus                       
C is Tersomius texensis (dissorophoid)    
D is Melosaurus vetustus (Archegosaurid)

Bone Key.
Bc, braincase; F, frontal; In, internasal; J, jugal; L, lacrimal; M, maxilla; N, nasal; P, parietal; P. f., pineal foramen; Pm, premaxilla; Po, postorbital; Pof, postfrontal; Pp, postparietal; Prf, prefrontal; Pt, pterygoid; Q, quadrate; Qj, quadratojugal; Sq, squamosal; St, supratemporal; T, tabular.

Image reproduced from http://tolweb.org/Temnospondyli/15009/2002.12.11 with permission from M. Laurin.

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