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Wesserpeton

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Wesserpeton evansae MWitton

An illustration of Wesserpeton by Mark Witton, depicting hypothetical territorial behavior

Wesserpeton was a genus of albanerpetonid amphibian from the Cretaceous of England.

DescriptionEdit

Like other albanerpetonids, Wesserpeton resembled a small salamander in its morphology. Unlike modern amphibians, however, albanerpetonids had scaly skin that prevented dessication. Wesserpeton itself measured about 35 centimeters in length from snout to vent.[1]

ClassificationEdit

Wesserpeton was a type of albanerpetonid amphibian. Originally, they were thought to be a type of salamander,[2] but it is now believed that they are not part of any extant group of amphibian.[3]

HistoryEdit

Wesserpeton evansae was described in 2013 by Steven Sweetman and James Gardner after being discovered in Cretaceous rocks from the Isle of Wight.[4]

PaleobiologyEdit

Many jaws of Wesserpeton show signs of trauma, and it is possible that this is due to intraspecific competition.[5][6] Similar behavior exists in modern salamanders.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Witton, Mark. "Wesserpeton evansae: making 'albanerpetontid' a household name". Mark Witton.com Blog, 30 May 2013. Web. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  2. Duellman, W.E. & Trueb, L. (1994): Biology of amphibians. The Johns Hopkins University Press
  3. McGowan, G. J. 2002. Albanerpetontid amphibians from the Lower Cretaceous of Spain and Italy: a description and reconsideration of their systematics. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 135(1), 1-32.
  4. Steven C. Sweetman and James D. Gardner (2013). "A new albanerpetontid amphibian from the Early Cretaceous (Barremian) Wessex Formation of the Isle of Wight, southern England". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 58 (2): 295–324. doi:10.4202/app.2011.0109.
  5. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-22704388
  6. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/tiny-but-feisty-prehistoric-wesserpeton-amphibian-discovered-8635751.html
  7. Jaeger, R. G. 1984. Agonistic behavior of the red-backed salamander. Copeia, 309-314.

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