STL Science Center

STL Science Center

17 May 2011

Papers on Amphibians

In the pursuit of knowledge of life amphibians such as Eryops , being early amphibians specifically, have quite the story to tell. Eryops and others of its general generation (Hynerpeton, Icthyostega, Perdepes etc. within about a 300 million year era) are the first successful lineages between fish and everything else terrestrial, in the vertebral world. They paved the way for more amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, birds, and even mammals. We have a lot to be thankful for in terms of our current place on the evolutionary ladder.

That being said, it is important to understand how these transitional forms of life, especially Eryops since it is her/her week, fits into life. Thus, our first article "The Fish-Tetrapod Transition". It is a very detailed look at how fossils tell the story of this transition using both old and new data. It is fairly current (2009) so we can look on this as a contemporary viewpoint into the past, which is always helpful.

For an older view of Eryops we turn to an article from 1934 titled "THE BRAIN CASE AND ENDOCRANIAL CAST OF ERYOPS MEGACEPHALUS". This paper looked at the very interesting cranial structures found in Eryops and specifically, of course, at its brain case structure. Given that the head was one of the most important defining features of Eryops this article tells quite a bit about that dome and how it worked to protect the brain.

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