Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Amphibia
Subclass Lepospondyli
Order Nectridea
Family Diplocaulidae
Genus Diplocaulus
1st Species Diplocaulus salamandroides
2nd Species Diplocaulus magnicornis
Other attributes
Time Range 306-255 mya
Location United States of America, Morocco
Name Meaning Double caul
Physical Dimensions 1 meter long
Dietary Classification Carnivore

Diplocaulus is a diplocaulid nectridean amphibian from the Pennsylvanian-Lopingian of the United States of America and Morocco. It was named in 1877 by Edward Drinker Cope. It was one of the largest nectridean amphibians, and by extension, one of the largest lepospondyls.


Eryops was a unique amphibian. It was a fish-like animal with 4 short legs, a long, thin tail similar to that of a tadpole, a bulky body (similar to that of a salamander), and a big, flat, boomerang-shaped head with small jaws. Its body would have been covered in smooth skin.


Diplocaulus was a predator, preying on insects and small fish. Its teeth were small yet sharp, and were used to get a hold of struggling prey as the amphibian swallowed them whole.


The function of Diplocaulus's head remains open to debate. One theory says that it would have functioned as a hydrofoil to help the creature swim through the water; another theory says that it would have been used for stopping predators such as Dimetrodon or Eryops from effortlessly swallowing it. When swimming through the water, Diplocaulus would have moved its tail similarly to the swimming style of an eel, making large, wriggling undulations from left to to right.

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