One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fossil amphibian of a large group that was dominant from the Carboniferous to the Triassic.
Order (or grade) Temnospondyli: many families
- ‘The most diverse assemblage are the labyrinthodonts, consisting of temnospondyls and anthracosaurs.’
- ‘However, some Triassic temnospondyls, such as Laidleria, exhibit the pattern of Dendrerpeton, with the jugal and prefrontal broadly sutured, and the orbits well back on the skull.’
- ‘Many Carboniferous temnospondyls appear to have been primarily terrestrial in habits, with strong limbs, but no lateral line canals.’
- ‘If frogs and salamanders both evolved from temnospondyls, and amniotes from anthracosaurs, then these amphibian orders did have a more recent common ancestry than either had with amniotes.’
- ‘At this point, temnospondyls, lepospondyls and reptilomorphs diverged.’
Early 20th century: from modern Latin Temnospondyli (plural), from Greek temnein ‘to cut’ + spondulos ‘vertebra’.
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