Eogyrinus (Greek for "dawn tadpole"); pronounced EE-oh-jih-RYE-nuss
Swamps of western Europe
Late Carboniferous (310 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 15 feet long and 100-200 pounds
Large size; stubby legs; long tail
If you saw Eogyrinus without your glasses on, you might have mistaken this prehistoric amphibian for a good-sized snake; like a snake, it was covered with scales (a direct inheritance from its fish ancestors), which helped protect it as it twisted its way through the swamps of the late Carboniferous period. Eogyrinus did have a set of short, stumpy legs, and this early amphibian seems to have pursued a semi-aquatic, crocodile-like lifestyle, snapping up small fish from shallow waters.