Edaphosaurus, ancient sail-backed mammal-like reptile


This 28 January 2019 video says about itself:

Edaphosaurus, meaning “pavement lizard” for dense clusters of teeth) is a genus of extinct edaphosaurid synapsid. It lived in what is now North America and Europe around 300 to 280 million years ago, during the late Carboniferous to early Permian periods.

Edaphosaurus is important as one of the earliest known large plant-eating (herbivorous) amniote tetrapods (four-legged land-living vertebrates). In addition to the large tooth plates in its jaws, the most characteristic feature of Edaphosaurus is a sail on its back which is unique in shape and morphology. Edaphosaurus species measured from 0.5 metres (1.6 ft) to almost 3.5 metres (11.5 ft) in length and weighed over 300 kilograms (660 lb).

Like its more famous relative Dimetrodon, Edaphosaurus had a sail-like fin that was supported by bones of the vertebral column. Edaphosaurus differs from Dimetrodon in having cross-bars on the spines that supported its fin. Edaphosaurus and other members of the Edaphosauridae evolved tall dorsal sails independently of sail-back members of the Sphenacodontidae. Dimetrodon and Secodontosaurus that lived at the same time are an unusual example of parallel evolution.

7 thoughts on “Edaphosaurus, ancient sail-backed mammal-like reptile

  1. On this creature’s sail-back … there are very large wild iguanas where I live and they have a big jagged set of spikes that stand up on their back like fingers … just on the upper back to the top of the head.
    I think I figured out the reason for it when I saw a big thorn bush with an access ‘hole’ at the bottom where the lizards had worn a path. That set of fingers pushes the thorn branches up when they walk into bushes. They nest in bushes here and can walk all over cactus, thorns etc. with their tough skin.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Reptile to mammal evolution, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Jurassic South African dinosaur, other footprints, discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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