What is a Diplocaulus magnicornis?
1882, Edward Drinker Cope
Baylor County – TX, United States
Permian – 290 Million Years Ago
Lower Clear Fork Group
Diplocaulus magnicornis: identified by American paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope in the red beds of Texas, in 1882. The first example of the genus was found in Danville, Illinois several years earlier, in 1877. Living mainly in the Permian period, 285 million years ago, this odd creature belonged to a group of early Tetrapods (land vertebrates) called the lepospondyls. Scientists are still unsure if lepospondyls should be considered amphibians or their own unique group of life. Believed to live on the bottom of ponds, it would burrow into the mud when the water disappeared, and resurface the next season. With its boomerang head, tiny legs, and pancake-shaped body, this one-of-a-kind creature is arguably one of the strangest animals in prehistory.
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