Rare Fossil Amphibian Skulls - Metoposaurs
These incredibly rare amphibian skulls (Metoposaurs) are naturally layered in a dramatic sculptural position. The jaws and teeth have been preserved - which seldomly occurs - as well as other bones, including the pectoral girdles. The detailed preservation is remarkable and it’s an absolutely exceptional vertebrate fossil!
These salamander-like creatures inhabited swamps in the present-day High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, 230 million years ago - living alongside the earliest dinosaurs.
Metoposaurs are a family of large prehistoric amphibians from the Temnospondyl order. Their total body length was approximately 5 feet long. Some species were ambush predators, whereas others, like this species, were adept swimmers that actively pursued their prey. They were proficient at capturing fish with their sharp, needle like teeth.
One interesting theory suggests that these amphibians died during a period of drought, layered on top of each other in a mass grave.
Species: Dutuitosaurus ouazzoui
Age: Late Triassic (Carnian) - 235 to 228 million years old.
Location: Argana Valley, Morocco
The specimen was extracted from the surrounding by a paleontological expert.
Only minor restoration.
Two of the jaw sections are cast.
The fossil measures 27 inches in entirety / 68.5 cm and reaches 30 inches on the mount / 76 cm. The largest skull (lower) measures 12.75 x 11 inches / 32.4 cm x 28 cm. The total length of this animal would be approximately 5 feet long / 1.5 meters.
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Artist's reconstruction of a related species, Metoposaurus diagnosticus krasiejowensis