Unusual Discosauriscus Lower Permian Amphibian Fossil

Prepared Matrix Free

Discosauriscus pulcherrimus

Amphibia, Seymouriamorpha, Discosauriscidae

Geological Time: Lower Permian

Size: Fossil is 97 mm overall with skull 43 mm by 45 mm wide; Matrix: 120 mm by 70 mm by 23 mm.

Fossil Site: Boscovice Furrow, Letovice, Moravia, Czech Republic

Fossil Code: TUS19-12

Price: $1095.00


Discosauriscus Lower Permian Amphibian FossilDescription: This is a fine fossil specimen of a rarely seen amphibian known as Discosauriscus. While also known as Letoveterpeton, that name has been considered a junior synonym. While once thought to be either a reptile or an amphibian, the fact that fossils are now known from the gilled larval state places it firmly with the Amphibia. Given its affinities with the North American Seymouria, it may have had a similar reptile-like appearance as a mature adult. It is placed here in the Reptile section of the mall as amphibians are almost never offered.

What is most unusual about this specimen is that it has been painstakingly prepared free of matrix to show only the skeletal and soft tissue of the animal itself. This is a laborious process that involves mechanical removal of matrix, flowed by digestion with acid. The exposed Discosauriscus pulcherrimuselements are then protected and the process iterated numerous times before the finished specimen is embedded in a UV-resistant resin for display. Given there is an 80-90 percent reject rate during the process few finished specimens are ever offered. While expensive, when one considers some 250-300 man-hours over a period on 20 to 30 weeks the price is not that outlandish.

This particular example shows the skull and some articulated postcranial elements including parts of the right forelimb. On the dorsal side of the skull you can make out the centrally-located “third eye”. Known more accurately as the pineal or parietal eye. It possessed a cornea, lens and a retina, and predominantly served a photoreceptive function most likely tied to the circadian rhythm. Many reptiles and amphibians still possess a rudimentary “third eye’ today. Note the rooted teeth on the ventral side of the skull.

See other Discosauriscus fossil specimens here and here.

Fossils Purchase Information

click fossil pictures to enlarge

Discosauriscus pulcherrimus
Discosauriscus pulcherrimus

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