Title

Eryops

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Description

Eryops is an extinct genus of amphibious temnospondyli. Temnospondyli is an extinct small to giant group of tetrapods that flourished worldwide during the Carboniferous, Permian and Triassic periods. Some authorities consider considered them to be primitive amphibians while others claim that the entire group went to extinction without leaving and descendants. Eryops averaged a little over 6.6 feet (2 m) in length making them among the largest land animals of their time. It had an enormous mouth with many curved teeth The roof of the mouth had three pairs of backward curved fangs which were used to trap slippery prey once caught. Eryops were among the most formidable early Permian carnivores. They lived in lowland habitats in and around ponds, streams and rivers and fed upon large fish and aquatic tetrapods. Apparently, Eryops had no chewing motion in its jaws and would have had to swallow its prey whole. Although they were fish-eaters, Eryops spent most of its time on land. Because of its bulk, Eryops must have been very slow and cumbersome while on land while, in the water, the buoyancy of the water would have helped to support its bulk and, as a result, was a much more agile hunter while in the water.

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