Subclass Lepospondyli

Contemporary with the large, bulky labyrinthodonts (see pp. 50-53) were a group of smaller, insectivorous amphibians, grouped together as the lepospondyls. (The anatomical feature that unites them is the structure of their vertebrae.) These amphibians evolved in the Carboniferous period, and survived until the end of the Permian.

During this span of some 100 million years, a variety of small lepospondyls evolved, which tended to look like salamanders or snakes. They can be grouped into 3 major orders — the ai'stopods, nectrideans and microsaurs (see pp. 46-47).

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