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New caecilian from Triassic Colorado

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A new amphibian-related paper is available online:


Jason D. Pardo; Bryan J. Small; Adam K. Huttenlocker (2017). Stem caecilian from the Triassic of Colorado sheds light on the origins of Lissamphibia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. in press. doi:10.1073/pnas.1706752114.


The discovery of Chinlestegophis is a groundbreaking development in recording the early evolution of extant amphibians because it not only fills a gap in the fossil record of early lissamphibians but also throws a wrench into the hypothesis of a temnospondyl origin of lissamphibians by recovering major groups of stereospondyls as sister to Caecilia and Gerobatrachus as closely related to frogs, toads, and salamanders. Literally, the patchy record of Triassic lissamphibians is part of the reason why there has been disagreement over whether lissamphibians are descended from lepospondyls or temnospondyls. Therefore, the textbook on early lissamphibian evolution has to be rewritten.    

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