The scientific tourist #262 — Diplocaulus

Another excellent fossil at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science — it’s Diplocaulus:


Diplocaulus (“double caul”) was an amphibian in early Permian North America.  Living some 275 million years ago, this stocky creature with a distinctive boomerang-shaped skull may have used his head as a hydrofoil to swim better and faster.  Given his small limbs and relatively short tail, he definitely wasn’t going to be a fast mover any other way.

This particular specimen came from the Vale Formation in Baylor County, Texas.

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