STL Science Center

STL Science Center

17 January 2017

Reading About Temnospondyls

Temnospondyls have not been discussed much here, as a group. Therefore, we do not have a vast library of literature concerning them that I can point back at and say "remember when we read such and such" making papers regarding Koolasuchus cleelandi that much more unique and special for us this week. One of the problems of Koolasuchus being a largely ignored taxon though is that there is not a lot of literature to fall back on. There are plenty of papers that mention or compare the animal to other closely related animals, but few that investigate the biology or history of Koolasuchus itself. The remains of Koolasuchus are actually fairly substantial (portions of the mandible plus an assortment of post-cranial elements) compared to many fossils and lacking elements cannot be blamed in this instance. Subsequent discoveries of Koolasuchus fossils have added even more material to the known animal, further alleviating lack of information issues. However, given that the papers linked above refer to Koolasuchus but are not entirely dedicated to the temnospondyl, the paper to read this week for the most information on the animal is the description paper of Warren, et al. 1997 that describes the discovered elements in detail. An extensive paper, the anatomy is discussed at length and placement of the animal is also discussed, though Warren and Marsicano 1999 reexamines the phylogeny of Brachyopoidea which discusses the placement of Koolasuchus and many other temnospondyls.

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