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

Further reading
- An early tetrapod from 'Romer's Gap'. - Nature. 418 (6893): 72–76. - J. A. Clack - 2002.


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