STL Science Center

STL Science Center

16 September 2015

Devil Horns

Diplocaulus means "Double caul". A caul is a derivative of the word cowl, and, without surprise, the name refers to the doubled cowl-like horns that protrude caudally from the head of Diplocaulus. The majority of fossils of Diplocaulus include little postcranial material, as is typical with a great deal of fossil materials that have been collected. Considering the lifestyle of the amphibian it is amazing we do not have more well preserved slab specimens. This sort of specimen, with its typical amphibian (salamander-like) body shape, is a spectacular specimen, though not all original material.Probably the best maps of the anatomy of Diplocaulus are actually the skull maps that are based, typically, off of the original descriptions by Cope, Olson, and Williston. See that map of cranial bones below. Obviously the amount of unfused bones, in comparison to a mammal, is a lot larger and impressive.

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