Balanerpeton Putative Primitive Amphibian Fossil from Romer's Gap

Part and Counterpart Temnospondyli Specimen Collected by Stan Wood

Balanerpeton woodi

Class "Amphibia", Order Temnospondyli

Geological Time: Lower Carboniferous, Visean Stage (~340 m.y.a.)

Size: (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fossil is 55 mm long (curve measure) by 10 mm wide at jaw joint . Matrix: 75 mm by 115 mm and 75 mm by 85 mm pair

Fossil Site: East Kirkton Quarry, West Lothian, Scotland (Romer's Gap)

Fossil Code: UKF133

Price: Sold

Balanerpeton woodi FossilThis is a fine specimen of a rarely seen amphibian known as Balanerpeton woodi, thought to be a close to the origin of the amniotes. Once thought to be reptiles, they are now thought to be ancestral amphibians. It is placed here in the Reptile section of the store as amphibians are almost never offered as well as its perceived status as near the amniotes.

The quarry represents a period in time known as Romer’s Gap, a period that is poor in fossils during which the labyrithodonts evolved. The gap is named for Alred S. Romer, the paleontologist who first discovered this disconituity between the primitive forests and the more modern terrestrial and aquatic assemblages of the Early Carboniferous.

The species derives its name for the discoverer Stan Wood. In fact, this specimen was discovered by him as seen from the accession number on the reverse of both halves (see photo). Stan thinks the teeth may be contained within the matrix of the negative half. Additionally there seems to be some bone material buried there as well. Here is a unique opportunity to own a specimen from a key time in the evolution of tetrapods, one that was collected by the very person for whom the species is named.

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