Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

A problematic early tetrapod from the Mississippian of Nevada

January 1, 1998

We report here the discovery of a new taxon of Paleozoic tetrapod from the Late Mississippian of Nevada (330-340 Ma). It has a unique vertebral column with principal centra having vertical anterior and posterior faces, ventrally incomplete accessory centra located antero-dorsally in each centrum, and enlarged presacral/sacral vertebrae. The head and pectoral girdle were not preserved but the large femur, robust pelvic girdle and enlarged sacral vertebrae possibly indicate a terrestrial mode of life. This new form significantly extends the western geographic range of known Mississippian tetrapods. It presents a mosaic of primitive and derived features, indicating that continued revision of traditional accounts of vertebral homology and the early diversifications of Paleozoic tetrapods will be necessary.