One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fossil amphibian with a broad flat head, occurring in the Permian and Triassic periods.
Suborder Stereospondyli, order Temnospondyli: several families
- ‘One lineage of stereospondyls, the Trematosauridae, actually took up a life in the oceans, the only stem tetrapods ever to have done so.’
- ‘The exhibit showed the flat skull of the stereospondyls and explained that they had large and unusually flat skulls and that the bones were solidly fused.’
- ‘According to our results, Sclerothorax is nested well within the higher stereospondyls, forming the sister taxon of capitosauroids.’
- ‘Somewhere between the granddaddy stereospondyl and Trematosaurus there is a branch leading to hundreds of other species of stereospondyl, including metoposaurs, plagiosaurs, batrachosaurs and many, many others.’
- ‘This is the first report of presumed stereospondyls from New Zealand.’
Early 20th century: from modern Latin Stereospondyli (plural), from Greek stereos ‘solid’ + spondulos ‘vertebra’.
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