The scientific tourist #171 — seymouria baylorensis

Straight to you from the Houston Natural History Museum in Houston, Texas — here’s seymouria baylorensis:

Seymouria baylorensis

The seymouria were a group of rather odd critters dating back to the early Permian period, about 280 million years ago. Strictly speaking they were amphibians, but had a number of reptilian features — adaptations to an arid environment, enabling them to roam for extended periods away from water. In any event, they were closely related to both modern mammals and reptiles.

The first seymourian fossils to be found were discovered near the town of Seymour in Baylor County, Texas — giving the type species its name (“Baylor County Seymour one”). The type fossil was described in 1904, but subsequently a number of other well-preserved fossils have been found in North America and Germany.

If you’re curious, this is actually a cast of a fossil seymouria baylorensis. The original is at the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C — but casts of it just like this one seem to be on display across the globe.

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