The ‘armadillo’ ‘frog’: Dissorophus

Figure 1. Images from Cope 1896 of the armored dissorophid, Dissorophus (=Otocoelus)

Figure 1. Images from Cope 1896 of the armored dissorophid, Dissorophus (= Otocoelus). At first I did not see the limbs preserved with the armor and skull. Did you?

Dissorophus multicinctus (Cope 1895; Late Carboniferous, 280 mya; 13 cm skull length) had a large head and short trunk, but more extensive dermal and sub dermal ossifications than the related Cacops, a basal lepospondyl in the large reptile tree (LRT, 1166 taxa). This terrestrial basal tetrapod was originally considered a “bratrachian armadillo” with its double-layer armor. Distinct from most basal tetrapods, (but like members of the sister clade Reptilia!) the limbs were quite large. Together with the armor, and with comparisons to sister taxa, Dissorophus was fully terrestrial

What were its tadpoles/juveniles like?
I don’t think we’ve found any. Let me know if any are known.

Wikipedia reports:
Dissorophus was a temnospondyl. The online cladogram of Dissorophus relatives from Schoch 2010 lists all lepospondyls in the LRT. Temnospondyls, like Metaposaurus, split off earlier in the LRT.

Figure 1. Cacops and its sisters.

Figure 1. Cacops and its sisters.

Cope ED 1895. A batrachian armadillo. The American Naturalist 29:998
Cope ED 1896. The Ancestry of the Testudinata. The American Naturalist 30(353):398-400
Cope ED 1896. Second contribution to the history of the Cotylosauria. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 35(151):122-139
DeMar RE 1966. Longiscitula houghae, a new genus of dissorophid amphibian from the Permian of Texas. Fieldiana: Geology 16:45-53
Schoch RR 2013. The evolution of major temnospondyl clades: an inclusive phylogenetic analysis. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology [R. Butler/R. Butler]
Schoch RR and Milner AR. 2014. Handbook of Paleoherpetology Part 3A2 Temnospondyli I.

Dissorophus articulatus Cope 1896 (no. 345457)
Longiscitula houghae DeMar 1966 (no. 345456)
Otocoelus mimeticus Cope 1896 (no. 138240)
Otocoelus testudineus Cope 1896 (no. 138239)

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