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Chunerpeton tianyiensis


Chunerpeton is the earliest known crown salamander (Urodela). It belongs to the family Cryptobranchidae that includes the modern Japanese Giant Salamander (Andrias) and the North American hellbender (Cryptobranchus). It was a neotenic form, retaining several juvenile features in adulthood such as the external gills (known from soft tissue impressions in the fossil).





Name


Chunerpeton tianyiensis

Authority
   

Gao and Chubin, 2003


Meaning of the generic name


Chu (Pinyin)meaning early and herpeton (Greek)meaning
creeping animal
 Meaning of the specific name

 tianyi, ancient country name for Ningcheng

Size


Skull length: 2 cm, Length: 18 cm


Remains


Holotype (CAGS-IG-02051): natural molds of an articulated skeleton.
Referred materials: PKUP V0210-0212 (natural molds)




Age and Distribution


Horizon: Middle Jurassic Jiulongshan Formation (Bathonian).
Locality: Daohugou, Ningcheng County, Inner Mongolia, China


Classification


Lissamphibia Caudata Urodela Cryptobranchoidea Cryptobranchidae

  Further Reading

  Gao, K. Q., and Shubin, N. H., 2003. Earliest known crown-group salamanders: Nature, v. 422, p. 424-428.

  Synonyms  
 




Life reconstruction of Chunerpeton tianyiensis (© N. Tamura)



Photo and line drawing of the holotype of Chunerpeton tianyiensis (CAGS-IG-02051). From Gao & Chubin, 2003.

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