Pederpes

Name: Pederpes‭ (‬Peter’s foot‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ped-er-pees.
Named By: Jennifer A.Clack‭ ‬-‭ ‬2002.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Tetrapoda,‭ ‬Amphibia,‭ ‬Whatcheeridae.
Species: P.‭ ‬finneyae.
Type: Carnivore.
Size: 1‭ ‬meter long.
Known locations: Scotland,‭ ‬Ballagan Formation.
Time period: Tournasian of the Carboniferous.
Fossil representation: Articulated skeleton with tail,‭ ‬some parts of the skull and limbs missing.

       First misidentified as a lobe finned fish,‭ ‬Pederpes is a very important entry into the fossil record as it represents the first tetrapod to evolve to a primarily terrestrial‭ (‬land based‭) ‬lifestyle.‭ ‬It also slots into a barren area of the fossil record referred to as Romer’s gap,‭ ‬an area where the transition between aquatic and terrestrial tetrapods was thought to take place but could not be proven until the discovery of Pederpes.
       The feet‭ ‬on Pederpes‭ ‬point forward and not to the side as in earlier tetrapods,‭ ‬an adaptation much more efficient to walking on land.‭ ‬The skull is narrow and suggests that it filled its lungs by muscular action as opposed to a throat pouch.
       Despite these terrestrial adaptations,‭ ‬the ear is structured in a way that would enable it to work best when underwater‭; ‬implying that Pederpes would have least spent some time in the water.



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