Opbiderpeton was an aistopod – one of a range of specialized limbless amphibians that existed from early Carboniferous times to the earliest Permian. They diverged from the main amphibian group quite early and probably pursued a burrowing lifestyle in the peaty soil of the coal forests where worms, centipedes, snails and all sorts of other invertebrates thrived. The large eyes were positioned to point forward – an adaptation to a hunting way of life.
Features: The body is extremely long, containing something like 200 vertebrae, while the tail is very short. There is no sign of limbs or of limb girdles. The skull is reduced, with some bones missing and others fused together into fewer structures, resulting in just a few bones supporting the bramcase and the jaws. Ophiderpeton has a large number of species, and there are many similar genera, such as Phlegethonia and Sillerpeton. There is also one, Lethiscus, known from Devonian rocks.