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Eryops (Wikimedia Commons)


Eryops (Greek for "long face"); pronounced EH-ree-ops


Swamps of North America and western Europe

Historical Period:

Early Permian (295 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 6 feet long and 200 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Broad, flat skull; crocodile-like body


About Eryops:

One of the best-known prehistoric amphibians of the early Permian period, Eryops had the broad outlines of a crocodile, with its low-slung trunk, splayed legs and massive head. One of the biggest land animals of its time, Eryops wasn't all that tremendous compared to the true reptiles that followed it, only about 6 feet long and 200 pounds. It probably hunted like the crocodiles it resembled, floating just below the surface of shallow swamps and snapping up any fish that swam too near.

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