Quick Diplocaulus Facts
- Lived in what is now North America
- Lived during the Permian period
- Was as long as a yard stick
- Weighed as much as a cat
- Had a boomerang-shaped head
- Was a Piscivore
Diplocaulus is an extinct early amphibian that lived 270 million years ago during the Permian period. It was first discovered in 1878 in Texas and was given its name by Edward Drinker Cope in 1877. Its name means “double caul” because it has a very distinctive head that looks like a boomerang.
If you saw Diplocaulus pictures without knowing anything about them, then you would have thought it was something someone invented. However, it was a real amphibian. Facts about Diplocaulus include the one that has been theorized that its head was so unusual because it made it harder for it to be eaten by predators. A lot of the prehistoric creatures that swam in those waters probably wouldn’t have wanted to struggle trying to swallow such an oddly shaped creature and would, therefore leave it alone, opting for easier prey.
Other scientists believe that its head may have been used as a hydrofoil. This would have made it possible for it to skim on top of a body of water. If that’s true, then the shape of its head could have also been used as a way for this animal to steer itself. This would have allowed it to traverse streams, rivers and lakes with ease.
Aside from its boomerang-shaped head, Diplocaulus also had other distinct features. It was approximately 3 feet long, had 4 shortened-legs, a long and flat tail and weighed around 5-10 pounds. It lived in the ancient swamps which are now known as Texas and probably lived off a diet of fish – making it a piscivore.
Recently, there have been a lot of stories circulating the Internet about Diplocaulus – stories that claim that this creature is still alive. However, those claims have been debunked as hoaxes. These amphibians have been extinct for quite a long time now. Millions upon millions of years.