One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An extinct, early amphibian of the Carboniferous and Permian periods, distinguished by vertebrae shaped liked hourglasses.
Microsauria and related orders, formerly placed in the subclass Lepospondyli
- ‘It is assumed that lepospondyls were physiologically amphibians in lacking the extraembryonic membranes of amniotes and laying their eggs in the water.’
- ‘This may be supported by the observation that in other elongate lepospondyls showing limb reduction there is first a reduction in the number of digits and the size of the limb.’
- ‘At this point, temnospondyls, lepospondyls and reptilomorphs diverged.’
- ‘In some lepospondyls, and in frogs and salamanders, the surangular is absent.’
- ‘Furthermore, in no other lepospondyl is the parietal foramen found on the parietal-postparietal suture, as would be required following McGinnis' hypothesis.’
1930s: from modern Latin Lepospondyli (plural), from Greek lepos ‘husk’ + spondulos ‘vertebra’.
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