Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Amphibia
Order Temnospondyli
Family Eryopidae
Genus Eryops
1st Species Eryops megacephalus
Other attributes
Time Range 299-278 mya
Location United States of America
Name Meaning Drawn-out face
Physical Dimensions 2 meters long
Dietary Classification Carnivore

Eryops is an eryopid temnospondyl amphibian from the Pennsylvanian-Cisuralian of the United States of America. It was named in 1877 by Edward Drinker Cope. It is one of the most greatly represented temnospondyls, and by extension, one of the most greatly represented Paleozoic carnivores.


Eryops resembled the generic temnospondyl. It was an amphibian with 4 legs, a moderately-sized tail, a bulky body, a big, semi-flat head with big jaws, and eyes on the top of its head. Its body would have been covered in bumpy, scaly skin.


Eryops was a predator, feeding on fish and smaller amphibians. Behind its huge jaws, it had 3 pairs of recurving fangs as well as lots of backwards-pointing bony projections, mainly for capturing prey and ensuring it did not escape.


Eryops was one of the more formidable predators in the Permian rivers and swamps, possibly being more than capable of competing with synapsids such as Dimetrodon. However, despite its amphibian classification, it was more adapted to land, as its torso was stiff, its tail was stout, and the structure of its ears would have worked best out of water. As well as this, it was not able to chew, and so, whenever it caught a fish or small amphibian, it would grasp it and thrust forward, further pushing it into its throat. An interesting thing to note is that it would have had experienced growth stages similar to many other temnospondyls, slowly growing from aquatic juveniles, but not undergoing drastic body changes.

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