Apteon Lower Permian Fossil Amphibian

with soft tissue preserved

Cf. Apateon pedestris

Amphibia, Euskelia, Branchiosauridae

Geological Time: Lower Permian (Asselian Age - 290 million years ago)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fossil is 55 mm long (tip of skull to tip of tail along backbone) Matrix: 90 mm by 105 mm

Fossil Site: Pfalz, Germany

Fossil Code: GF129

Price: Sold

Apateon pedestris Amphibian FossilDescription: This is a fine example of a rarely seen amphibian; most likely Apateon pedestris, thought to be a precursor to the salamanders. It is placed here in the Reptile section of the store as amphibians are almost never offered. The family derives its name from the gill structures that are present from larvae to adult. Some salamanders demonstrate neoteny, or the capability of reproducing while in what is apparently the larval state. Neoteny is not all that uncommon among modern-day salamanders (some 40 species in 9 different families demonstrate this strategy), with the Mexican Salamander or Axolotl being a prime example. This means that it retains its gills and fins, and it doesn't develop the protruding eyes, eyelids and characteristics of other adult salamanders. It grows much larger than a normal larval salamander, and it reaches sexual maturity in this larval stage. The detail is amazing for a specimen nearly 300 million years old. Note the soft tissue outlines preserved, covered here with a preservative to keep any material from spalling (flaking off). The region from which these remarkable fossils come has been closed to collecting; the only way to acquire one now is from an old collection, as is the case here. This one is a fine larger example preserved in lateral aspect.

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