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Sclerocephalus - A Temnospondyl Amphibian of the Carboniferous/Permian

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  • Neal Robbins
        This link has an illustration of Sclerocephalus. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sclerocephalus1DB.jpg     This link has a photo of the holotype of
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 1, 2012
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          This link has an illustration of Sclerocephalus.
       
          This link has a photo of the holotype of Sclerocephalus haeuseri.
       
          Sclerocephalus was a genus of temnospondyl amphibians that lived during the Carboniferous/Permian. The systematic paleontology of Sclerocephalus is:
       
      Amphibia Linnaeus 1758
      Temnospondyli von Zittel 1887
      Stereospondylomorpha Yates and Warren 2000
      Actinodontidae Lydekker 1885
      Sclerocephalus Goldfuss 1847
      Sclerocephalus haeuseri Goldfuss 1847
      S. bavaricus Branco 1887
      S. nobilis Kratschmer and Resch 2005
      S. stambergi Klembara and Sebastien 2012
       
          Scerlocephalus had a length of up to 1.5 m. (4.92 feet). Fossil remains of Scerocephalus haeuseri, S. bavaricus, and S. nobilis were found the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany. They were unearthed in strata dating to an Asselian- Gzhelian span. [Note - The Asselian is late Carboniferous; it dates to an interval of 299 - 294.6 million years ago. The Gzhelian is early Permian and dates to an interval of 299 - 294.6 million years ago.]
          Jozef Klembara and J. Sebastien wrote an article titled A New Species of Sclerocephalus (Temnospondyli: Stereospondylomorpha) from the Early Permian of the Boskovice Basin (Czech Republic). It was published in 2012 in the Journal of Paleontology, v. 86, no. 2, pp. 302-310. The abstract is on this link.
       
          Rainer Schoch wrote an article titled Early larval ontologeny of the Permo-Carboniferous temnospondyl Sclerocephalus. It was published in 2003 in Palaeontology, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp. 1055-1072. This quote from the abstract says:
       
      The early larval development of the temnospondyl Sclerocephalus sp. is analyzed, based on 38 specimens from the Lower Rotliegend (Permo-Carboniferous boundary) of the Saar-Nahe Basin (south-west Germany). This study focuses on the smallest larval specimens, which exemplify changes in both proportions and ossification patterns. In comparison with dissorophoid larvae, the skull ossifies more fully and at a much faster rate; the smallest specimens already have completely formed circumorbital bones that are sutured throughout. Sculpturing undergoes two marked changes, first from uniformly pitted to pits of variable size and regional differentiation, and finally to the origin of ridges. The palate of small larvae differs from that of larger specimens in patterns of dentition, having more teeth including a denticle field on the cultriform process. The mandible of small larvae is described for the first time, being narrower than in adults and having three dentigerous coronoid elements. The smallest specimens have poorly ossified neural arches, lack vertebral centra, and have faintly ossified humeri, femora, and very poorly developed distal elements. The posterior ribs, metapodia, and phalanges appeared after the dermal elements of the pectoral girdle, whereas the scapulocoracorid and ischium are absent throughout the larval period. Early growth and differentiation of the limbs and ilium illustrates the development patterning of the appendages, which proceed from proximal to distal. Dermal squamation is uniform in small stages, consisting of round or oval osteoderms with pronounced growth rings; in large larvae, they start to differentiate in certain body regions.
       
          Neal Robbins
    • fadingshadows2000
      Great posts today, Neal, I enjoyed both the firefly and amphibian data. I remember when we were kids trying to catch lightning bugs in a jar (hahaha). Tom
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 1, 2012
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        Great posts today, Neal, I enjoyed both the firefly and amphibian data. I remember when we were kids trying to catch lightning bugs in a jar (hahaha).
        Tom

        --- In seymouria@yahoogroups.com, Neal Robbins <ctn47496@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        >     This link has an illustration of Sclerocephalus.
        > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sclerocephalus1DB.jpg
        >
        >     This link has a photo of the holotype of Sclerocephalus haeuseri.
        >  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sclerocephalus_haeuseri,_original_fossil.jpg
        >
        >     Sclerocephalus was a genus of temnospondyl amphibians that lived during the Carboniferous/Permian. The systematic paleontology of Sclerocephalus is:
        >
        > Amphibia Linnaeus 1758
        > Temnospondyli von Zittel 1887
        > Stereospondylomorpha Yates and Warren 2000
        > Actinodontidae Lydekker 1885
        > Sclerocephalus Goldfuss 1847
        > Sclerocephalus haeuseri Goldfuss 1847
        > S. bavaricus Branco 1887
        > S. nobilis Kratschmer and Resch 2005
        > S. stambergi Klembara and Sebastien 2012
        >
        >     Scerlocephalus had a length of up to 1.5 m. (4.92 feet). Fossil remains of Scerocephalus haeuseri, S. bavaricus, and S. nobilis were found the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany. They were unearthed in strata dating to an Asselian- Gzhelian span. [Note - The Asselian is late Carboniferous; it dates to an interval of 299 - 294.6 million years ago. The Gzhelian is early Permian and dates to an interval of 299 - 294.6 million years ago.]
        >     Jozef Klembara and J. Sebastien wrote an article titled A New Species of Sclerocephalus (Temnospondyli: Stereospondylomorpha) from the Early Permian of the Boskovice Basin (Czech Republic). It was published in 2012 in the Journal of Paleontology, v. 86, no. 2, pp. 302-310. The abstract is on this link.
        > http://jpaleontol.geoscienceworld.org/content/86/2/302.abstract
        >
        >     Rainer Schoch wrote an article titled Early larval ontologeny of the Permo-Carboniferous temnospondyl Sclerocephalus. It was published in 2003 in Palaeontology, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp. 1055-1072. This quote from the abstract says:
        >
        > The early larval development of the temnospondyl Sclerocephalus sp. is analyzed, based on 38 specimens from the Lower Rotliegend (Permo-Carboniferous boundary) of the Saar-Nahe Basin (south-west Germany). This study focuses on the smallest larval specimens, which exemplify changes in both proportions and ossification patterns. In comparison with dissorophoid larvae, the skull ossifies more fully and at a much faster rate; the smallest specimens already have completely formed circumorbital bones that are sutured throughout. Sculpturing undergoes two marked changes, first from uniformly pitted to pits of variable size and regional differentiation, and finally to the origin of ridges. The palate of small larvae differs from that of larger specimens in patterns of dentition, having more teeth including a denticle field on the cultriform process. The mandible of small larvae is described for the first time, being narrower than in adults and having three
        > dentigerous coronoid elements. The smallest specimens have poorly ossified neural arches, lack vertebral centra, and have faintly ossified humeri, femora, and very poorly developed distal elements. The posterior ribs, metapodia, and phalanges appeared after the dermal elements of the pectoral girdle, whereas the scapulocoracorid and ischium are absent throughout the larval period. Early growth and differentiation of the limbs and ilium illustrates the development patterning of the appendages, which proceed from proximal to distal. Dermal squamation is uniform in small stages, consisting of round or oval osteoderms with pronounced growth rings; in large larvae, they start to differentiate in certain body regions.
        >
        >     Neal Robbins
        >
      • Neal Robbins
              Thanks, Tom. I also recall the fun I had chasing after fireflies when I was a kid. They re interesting creatures. Amphibians have been around for
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 1, 2012
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              Thanks, Tom. I also recall the fun I had chasing after fireflies when I was a kid. They're interesting creatures. Amphibians have been around for quite a while. They proliferated a lot during the Carboniferous, though they were also here during the Devonian. The Devonian was apparently the earliest period in which vertebrates colonized the land. Temnospondyls are among my favorite fossil amphibians. They were around for a very long time. Temnospondyls even made it into the Cretaceous. Koolasuchus cleelandi was a Cretaceous temnospondyl. It's interesting that a lot of temnospondyl amphibians were quite large. As we know, Sclerocephalus was almost 5 feet long. Koolasuchus was certainly a giant; it was 4-5 m. (13-16 feet) in length. It was much larger than the biggest amphibian of today, i.e. the Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus), which has an average length of 1.15 m. (3.8 feet). Amphibians have been very successful, considering the number of mass extinction events that they have survived.
           
              Neal

          From: fadingshadows2000 <fadingshadows40@...>
          To: seymouria@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thursday, March 1, 2012 6:47 PM
          Subject: [seymouria] Re: Sclerocephalus - A Temnospondyl Amphibian of the Carboniferous/Permian

           
          Great posts today, Neal, I enjoyed both the firefly and amphibian data. I remember when we were kids trying to catch lightning bugs in a jar (hahaha).
          Tom

          --- In seymouria@yahoogroups.com, Neal Robbins <ctn47496@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          >     This link has an illustration of Sclerocephalus.
          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sclerocephalus1DB.jpg
          >
          >     This link has a photo of the holotype of Sclerocephalus haeuseri.
          >  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sclerocephalus_haeuseri,_original_fossil.jpg
          >
          >     Sclerocephalus was a genus of temnospondyl amphibians that lived during the Carboniferous/Permian. The systematic paleontology of Sclerocephalus is:
          >
          > Amphibia Linnaeus 1758
          > Temnospondyli von Zittel 1887
          > Stereospondylomorpha Yates and Warren 2000
          > Actinodontidae Lydekker 1885
          > Sclerocephalus Goldfuss 1847
          > Sclerocephalus haeuseri Goldfuss 1847
          > S. bavaricus Branco 1887
          > S. nobilis Kratschmer and Resch 2005
          > S. stambergi Klembara and Sebastien 2012
          >
          >     Scerlocephalus had a length of up to 1.5 m. (4.92 feet). Fossil remains of Scerocephalus haeuseri, S. bavaricus, and S. nobilis were found the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany. They were unearthed in strata dating to an Asselian- Gzhelian span. [Note - The Asselian is late Carboniferous; it dates to an interval of 299 - 294.6 million years ago. The Gzhelian is early Permian and dates to an interval of 299 - 294.6 million years ago.]
          >     Jozef Klembara and J. Sebastien wrote an article titled A New Species of Sclerocephalus (Temnospondyli: Stereospondylomorpha) from the Early Permian of the Boskovice Basin (Czech Republic). It was published in 2012 in the Journal of Paleontology, v. 86, no. 2, pp. 302-310. The abstract is on this link.
          > http://jpaleontol.geoscienceworld.org/content/86/2/302.abstract
          >
          >     Rainer Schoch wrote an article titled Early larval ontologeny of the Permo-Carboniferous temnospondyl Sclerocephalus. It was published in 2003 in Palaeontology, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp. 1055-1072. This quote from the abstract says:
          >
          > The early larval development of the temnospondyl Sclerocephalus sp. is analyzed, based on 38 specimens from the Lower Rotliegend (Permo-Carboniferous boundary) of the Saar-Nahe Basin (south-west Germany). This study focuses on the smallest larval specimens, which exemplify changes in both proportions and ossification patterns. In comparison with dissorophoid larvae, the skull ossifies more fully and at a much faster rate; the smallest specimens already have completely formed circumorbital bones that are sutured throughout. Sculpturing undergoes two marked changes, first from uniformly pitted to pits of variable size and regional differentiation, and finally to the origin of ridges. The palate of small larvae differs from that of larger specimens in patterns of dentition, having more teeth including a denticle field on the cultriform process. The mandible of small larvae is described for the first time, being narrower than in adults and having three
          > dentigerous coronoid elements. The smallest specimens have poorly ossified neural arches, lack vertebral centra, and have faintly ossified humeri, femora, and very poorly developed distal elements. The posterior ribs, metapodia, and phalanges appeared after the dermal elements of the pectoral girdle, whereas the scapulocoracorid and ischium are absent throughout the larval period. Early growth and differentiation of the limbs and ilium illustrates the development patterning of the appendages, which proceed from proximal to distal. Dermal squamation is uniform in small stages, consisting of round or oval osteoderms with pronounced growth rings; in large larvae, they start to differentiate in certain body regions.
          >
          >     Neal Robbins
          >



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