Friday, October 26, 2007

Seymouria, our hometown favorite

In case you haven't guessed it already, Seymouria is our hometown favorite because this species was discovered near and named after Seymour, TX - the town situated closest to the fossil beds that made Texas Dimetrodon Central.

Seymouria was small, about two feet long, with many razor-sharp teeth in its triangular head as well as legs that were both longer and stronger than the first amphibians - meaning that it could live in water and on land. In fact, some scientists can't agree whether Seymouria was a land-loving reptile or a water-addict of the amphibian class. The consensus seems to be that this species marks the evolutionary transition between the two.

This scientific conundrum is found almost exclusively in the Red Beds of Texas - yet another reason to keep digging for more evidence.

Multiple Seymouria are often found curled up together, meaning that they might have been burrowers. The team has found Seymouria vertebrae and leg bone fossils at the main site, and an almost complete backbone from one individual at another site, that looks so strong "You could probably stand on it," according to Dr. Bakker.

9 comments:

Joseph Warren said...

Where do you think Seymouria stood in the food chain of this period?

Bethany Brown said...

Since yall have been digging, have yall found a full skeleton of Seymouria?

Lauren Huckabee said...

When did ya'll find the first fossil of Semouria??

Houston Museum of Natural Science said...

Hi Joseph, Bethany and Lauren,

I can tell you that the team has not found a full skeleton of Seymouria at their sites so far. They have found bone fragments, including parts of the skull.

The first Seymouria was discovered locally in the late 19th century and it became world famous because it seems to be half lizard-half amphibian, something that had never been seen before.

Joseph, I will have your answer about the food chain by tomorrow.

Thanks for your comments, guys! Keep checking back - they're finding cool new stuff every day.

Erin

Anonymous said...

how old is Seymouria? Do you know how much they ate, or if they stransfored into something else?

Houston Museum of Natural Science said...

Hi there,

Seymouria was alive during the Permian period, which lasted from about 290 million years ago to about 250 million years ago.

From Dr. Bakker: "They had really long, pointy, pointy teeth - so they were likely eating soft bodied prey, invertebrates like clams. They had a very strong jaw, but very skinny teeth. Funny guy."

Thanks for your question! I hope you'll check back in on the team soon.

Erin

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