Doleserpeton

Name Meaning:  Dolese Close to Ground (Dolese being the quarry where this animal was discovered)

Geologic Era:  Permian

Location Found:  Oklahoma

Estimated Range:  Southern North America

Size:  5.5 cm long (about 2.17 inches)

Extinction:  Upper Permian (285 million years ago

These tiny bones come from an early amphibian.  Don’t let the picture fool you, as each of the jars is only an inch across, and the bones inside are correspondingly smaller.  The jar on the right contains limb bones, where the jar on the right has an assortment of teeth and vertebrae.  

Doleserpeton may have been among the evolutionary line that led to frogs and toads.  The skull is more blunted than seen in previous amphibians.  Doleserpeton probably resembled a newt of today, and quite possibly was tied to the water, as newts are.  While the remains of Doleserpeton do show ossification (indicating a more terrestrial lifestyle), most amphibians require water to live in during their larval stages.

 Doleserpeton probably spent its juvenile stages in a pond or stream, and would convert to a land-based lifestyle at adulthood.  Doleserpeton probably walked with a sprawling posture while on land, with its belly dragging on the ground.  While a primitive form of terrestrial locomotion, a sprawling gait would still be reasonably well suited to water, yet another indicator of a creature splitting its time between land and water.

Image Credits:

Doleserpeton Skeleton:  http://www.reptileevolution.com/doleserpeton.htm