A number of fossil animals show a mixture of amphibian and reptilian features, and are therefore difficult to classify in either group. Paleontologists generally agree that such animals were probably specialized land amphibians.
name: Diadectes time: Early Permian locality: North America (Texas) size: 10 ft/3 m long
This creature was one of the bulkiest land animals alive in Early Permian times. Its skeleton was like that of a reptile, and well adapted to life on land. But certain features of the skull prove that it was not a member of that group.
Diadectes had a specialized skull, with a secondary bony palate (a feature found in advanced reptiles, see p. 185), though this was only partially developed. It had stout grinding teeth in its short, strong jaws.
It is possible that Diadectes ate shellfish, but its bulky body suggests that it ate plants. If so, it was the first amphibian herbivore, and lived at the same time as the first reptilian herbivore, Edaphosaurus (see p. 189).
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