2.2" Triassic Amphibian (Metoposaurus) Skull Scute Section - Arizona

This is a beautiful, 2.2" wide piece of a scute from the skull of Metoposaurus, collected from a private ranch, located on the Chinle Formation of northeast Arizona. The Chinle Formation is Upper Triassic in age, meaning this fossil is approximately 220 million years old. The preservation of the bone is phenomenal, with minor crack repair but no restoration.

An artists reconstruction of what a Metoposaur may have looked like.
An artists reconstruction of what a Metoposaur may have looked like.

Metoposaurids were the ginormous ancestors of modern amphibians that managed to survive the Permian-Triassic extinction. These salamander-like creatures approached, on average, five feet in length, though it is believed they may have grown up to nine feet long. These amphibians are characterized by their broad, flat skull, long limbs and paddle-like tail. Metoposaurs probably competed at the same feeding level with Phytosaurs, having very similar life styles and feeding strategies. Imagine a six foot salamander that behaves like a crocodile, and you have a mostly-accurate picture of Metoposaurids.

Metoposaurus sp.
Private Ranch, Northeast Arizona
Chinle Formation
2.2 x 1.75"
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