Named By: Ke-Qin Gao & Neil H. Shubin - 2003.
Classification: Chordata, Amphibia, Cryptobranchoidea.
Species: C. tianyiensis (type).
Size: About 18 centimetres long.
Known locations: Mongolia - Jiulongshan Formation.
Time period: Usually credited as mid Jurassic, though the true age of the fossil deposits where the Chunerpeton type specimen comes from is in dispute at the time of writing.
Fossil representation: Complete and articulated skeleton with impressions of soft tissues.
Chunerpeton was a key discovery as it represents the first appearance of a crown salamander in the fossil record. Unfortunately there has been a lot of debate and uncertainty about the true age of the fossil deposits that Chunerpeton comes from. Soft tissue impressions reveal that even in adult life Chunerpeton retained external gills, meaning that individuals of this genus spent most if not all of their time in the water.
- Earliest known crown-group salamanders - Nature 422 (6930): 424–428. - Ke-Qin Gao & Neil H. Shubin - 2003.