Temnospondyl skulls in Dorsal view
© 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
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
D is Melosaurus vetustus
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.
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