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Metoposaurus & Mastodonsaurus



The metoposaurs - the big-headed amphibian family to which Metoposaurus belonged - were amazingly successful considering that the true age of amphibians had passed. Their remains arc found almost worldwide, from North America, through Europe to Morocco and India. There are several genera, all similar to one another, and they may eventually all be classed as Metoposaurus. Other genera include the giant Buettneria and the tiny Apachesaurus both from North America. realsitic dinosaur costume


Features: Metoposaurus is a large aquatic amphibian. It has a broad flat triangular head with the eyes, crocodile-like, on the top# but further forward than on other amphibian skulls. Its limbs are very small, and would have been used for poling the animal across the bed of the rivers and lakes in which it lived. There is evidence for a lateral line system that picks up vibrations and changes in pressure in the water and allows the animal to sense what is going on around it -the sensory system that fish possess - along the side of the skull. This and the shape of the animal show it to have been almost completely aquatic.


Metoposaurus Mastodonsaurus

rhe name of this gigantic amphibian was once thought to have referred to its size - as big as the elephantine mammal Mastodon.

In fact, it was named after the nipple-shaped tooth that was first discovered by Jaeger in rhe 1820s. I his was actually a damaged tooth, and its true shape would have been very similar to that of the typical labyrinthodont amphibian - a conical structure with the dentine and enamel folded in the characteristic maze-like pattern.


Features: The tooth that Jaeger found is actually the biggest amphibian tooth known. These fang-like teeth are found on the lower jaw and must have been used to catch fish. A feature shared with other amphibians of the group is a third eye# on top of the skull. This consists of a lens, a retina and an optic nerve, but no iris. It was probably used as a heat- sensitive organ that could register the intensity of the light, and was part of the system that regulated the temperature of the body.

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