Pederpes

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Pederpes

Pederpes was found in 1971 and lay misclassified in the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow. It was first thought to have been the skeleton of a lohe-finncd fish. Later study by Jenny Clack of Cambridge showed that it was a tetrapod, and important because it was one of the few fossils from part of the fossil record that seems to be missing – a stretch of time between the late Devonian and early Carboniferous in which we would expect to find the remains of animals that show the transition between completely aquatic tetrapods and those adapted toland life. This is the so-called “Romers gap” Features The feet seem to have five toes, although this is not very clear on the only en that has been found. However,specim the feeet are turned forward, with themiddle toe pointing forward in the direction of travel. This puts the feet in the ideal position to work on land making Pederpes the earliest-known purely land­living animal. The skull is narrow and deep, suggesting a land-living animal, but the structure of the ear indicates that it spentmuch of its time in water.(Animatronic Dinosaur)

 

Left: The narrow skull suggests that Pederpes did not breathe by pumping a throat pouch, but by drawing air into the lungs by muscular action ofthe body.