Diadectes, reptile-like tetrapod Skull
Diadectes, reptile-like tetrapod Skull
Diadectes, reptile-like tetrapod Skull
Diadectes, reptile-like tetrapod Skull
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Diadectes, reptile-like tetrapod Skull

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Diadectes was a genus of large, very reptile-like tetrapods that lived during the Early Permian. It is one of the very first herbivorous tetrapods, and also one of the first fully terrestrial animals to attain large size. It was a heavily built animal, 1.5 to 3 meters long, with a thick-boned skull, heavy vertebrae and ribs, massive limb girdles and short, robust limbs. The nature of the limbs and vertebrae clearly indicate a terrestrial animal. Its teeth show advanced specialization for a herbivorous diet that is not found in any other type of early Permian animal. The eight front teeth are spatulate and peg-like, and served as incisors that were used to nip off mouthfuls of vegetation. The broad blunt cheek teeth show extensive wear associated with occlusion, and would have functioned as molars, grinding up the food. It also had a partial secondary palate, which meant it could chew its food and breathe at the same time, something many even more advanced reptiles were unable to do. Diadectes also had a large pineal 'eye' which is easily visible in this replica. This third 'eye' located on the forehead may have able to register light intensity and can help to regulate body temperature.
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