Saturday 30 December 2023

Eurhinocaulus: The Sawfish Lepospondyl

Click to enlarge

Another round of speculative fun with prehistoric animals. What you see here is not a reconstruction of a real fossil, but a purely hypothetical relative or descendant of the famous lepospondyl Diplocaulus, an "amphibian" from the Permian ("amphibian" is in quotation marks since Lepospondyli, even if they did have similar physiology and lifestyles, are generally considered to have been members of Reptiliomorpha, therefore more closely related to us than to the actual modern (liss)amphibians). 

The lifestyle of this creature can be imagined quite straight-forwardly: It lies in wait on or inside the riverbed and when suitable prey is located, it lifts its head, its "skullwings" acting as hydrofoils to quickly dart the predator up (as they are theorized to have done in the real Diplocaulus). Once in reach, the toothed sword-nose is used to strike at the prey and incapacitate it, much as in sawfish.

This is simply a one-off creature without any wider context... for now. Who knows, perhaps it could become part of a future project.

Edit: Well, it happened!

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