The Albanerpetontidae are an extinct family of superficially salamander-like batrachians. Albanerpetontids include five genera – Albanerpeton, Anoualerpeton, Celtedens, Shirerpeton and Wesserpeton – and between 10 and 20 known species, spanning about 160 million years from the Bathonian stage of the Middle Jurassic to the beginning of the Pleistocene, about 2.13-2 million years ago.[1][2] Albanerpetontids were long thought to be salamanders because of their small size and generalized body plans.[3] However, these features are now thought to be ancestral for lissamphibians and not indicative of close relationships between the two groups. One of the things that made them different from salamanders was that their skin was covered with bony scales.[4] Albanerpetontids are now recognized as a distinct clade of lissamphibians separate from the three living orders of amphibians – Anura (frogs), Caudata (salamanders), and Gymnophiona (caecilians). Some studies show them as more closely related to frogs and salamanders than to caecilians,[5] while others show them to be outside of the lissamphibian crown-group.[6]

Temporal range: Bathonian–Gelasian
Albanerpeton BW
Life restoration of Albanerpeton
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Allocaudata
Family: Albanerpetontidae
Fox and Naylor, 1982


Compiled from and Mikko Haramo's websites.[7][8]


  1. ^ Gardner, J.D.; Böhme, M. (2008). Sankey, J.T.; Baszio, S. (eds.). Vertebrate Microfossil Assemblages: Their Role in Paleoecology and Paleobiogeography (PDF). Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. pp. 178–218. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  2. ^ Villa, Andrea; Blain, Hugues-Alexandre; Delfino, Massimo (2018). "The Early Pleistocene herpetofauna of Rivoli Veronese (Northern Italy) as evidence for humid and forested glacial phases in the Gelasian of Southern Alps". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 490: 393–403. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2017.11.016. ISSN 0031-0182.
  3. ^ Duellman, W.E. & Trueb, L. (1994): Biology of amphibians. The Johns Hopkins University Press
  4. ^ Wesserpeton evansae: making 'albanerpetontid' a household name
  5. ^ Gardner, J. D. (2001). "Monophyly and affinities of albanerpetontid amphibians (Temnospondyli; Lissamphibia)". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 131 (3): 309–352. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2001.tb02240.x.
  6. ^ David Marjanović and Michel Laurin, Reevaluation of the largest published morphological data matrix for phylogenetic analysis of Paleozoic limbed vertebrates, Article · December 2015 DOI: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.1596v1
  7. ^ Mikko's Phylogeny Archive [1] Haaramo, Mikko (2007). "†Allocaudata – albanerpentonids". Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  8. ^ (net, info) "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-11. Retrieved 2015-12-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link). "Taxonomic lists- Amphibia". Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  9. ^ Ryoko Matsumoto; Susan E. Evans (2018). "The first record of albanerpetontid amphibians (Amphibia: Albanerpetontidae) from East Asia". PLoS ONE. 13 (1): e0189767. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0189767.

External links

2018 in paleontology

Paleontology or palaeontology (from Greek: paleo, "ancient"; ontos, "being"; and logos, "knowledge") is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, fossilised feces (coprolites), palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because humans have encountered fossils for millennia, paleontology has a long history both before and after becoming formalized as a science. This article records significant discoveries and events related to paleontology that occurred or were published in the year 2018.


Albanerpeton is an extinct genus of salamander-like lissamphibian found in North America and Europe. Members of the genus had a robust head and neck which likely allowed them to actively burrow, and they lived in a wide range of environments. This genus of amphibian was the last of its order, surviving until the late Pliocene in southern Europe, and into the Early Pleistocene (Gelasian) of northern Italy and likely became extinct when the region developed its present Mediterranean-type climate.


The Amphibamidae are an extinct family of dissorophoid temnospondyls known from Late Carboniferous-Early Permian strata in the United States.


Amphibamiformes is an unranked clade with Dissorophoidea created by Schoch (2019). It encompasses all of the taxa traditionally considered to be "amphibamids" (subsequently restricted to Doleserpeton annectens and Amphibamus grandiceps by Schoch), branchiosaurids, and hypothetically lissamphibians under the traditional temnospondyl hypothesis of lissamphibian origins. These taxa are typically small-bodied dissorophoids and form the sister group to Olsoniformes, which comprises dissorophids and trematopids.


Amphibians are ectothermic, tetrapod vertebrates of the class Amphibia. Modern amphibians are all Lissamphibia. They inhabit a wide variety of habitats, with most species living within terrestrial, fossorial, arboreal or freshwater aquatic ecosystems. Thus amphibians typically start out as larvae living in water, but some species have developed behavioural adaptations to bypass this. The young generally undergo metamorphosis from larva with gills to an adult air-breathing form with lungs. Amphibians use their skin as a secondary respiratory surface and some small terrestrial salamanders and frogs lack lungs and rely entirely on their skin. They are superficially similar to lizards but, along with mammals and birds, reptiles are amniotes and do not require water bodies in which to breed. With their complex reproductive needs and permeable skins, amphibians are often ecological indicators; in recent decades there has been a dramatic decline in amphibian populations for many species around the globe.

The earliest amphibians evolved in the Devonian period from sarcopterygian fish with lungs and bony-limbed fins, features that were helpful in adapting to dry land. They diversified and became dominant during the Carboniferous and Permian periods, but were later displaced by reptiles and other vertebrates. Over time, amphibians shrank in size and decreased in diversity, leaving only the modern subclass Lissamphibia.

The three modern orders of amphibians are Anura (the frogs and toads), Urodela (the salamanders), and Apoda (the caecilians). The number of known amphibian species is approximately 8,000, of which nearly 90% are frogs. The smallest amphibian (and vertebrate) in the world is a frog from New Guinea (Paedophryne amauensis) with a length of just 7.7 mm (0.30 in). The largest living amphibian is the 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus), but this is dwarfed by the extinct 9 m (30 ft) Prionosuchus from the middle Permian of Brazil. The study of amphibians is called batrachology, while the study of both reptiles and amphibians is called herpetology.

Anoual Formation

The Anoual Formation is a geological formation in the High Atlas of Morocco. It is early Bathonian in age. It consists of two members. The lower member is several hundred metres thick, and consists largely of mudstone with lens beds of cross bedded sandstone, with thin intercalations of limestone that was deposited in a continental setting. The upper member is several tens of metres thick and consists of limestone deposited in a shallow marine setting. The formation is fossiliferous, with several of the limestone intercalations yielding a diverse fauna, including amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs and mammals.


Anoualerpeton is an extinct genus of lissamphibian in the family Albanerpetontidae. Fossils have been found of two different species in Forest Marble Formation of England and the Ksar Metlili Formation of Morocco dating back to the Bathonian stage of the Middle Jurassic and the Berriasian stage of the Early Cretaceous, respectively.

It is thought to be the most basal genus of the Albanerpetontids, and in the case of the species A. unicus, the only albanerpetontid known to have existed in Gondwana.


Celtedens is an extinct genus of albanerpetontid amphibian from the Late Cretaceous of Spain, Early Cretaceous of England, and the Late Jurassic of Portugal.

Dinosaur Park Formation

The Dinosaur Park Formation is the uppermost member of the Belly River Group (also known as the Judith River Group), a major geologic unit in southern Alberta. It was laid down during the Campanian stage of the Late Cretaceous epoch between 76.9 and 75.8 million years ago. It was deposited in alluvial and coastal plain environments, and it is bounded by the nonmarine Oldman Formation below it and the marine Bearpaw Formation above it.The Dinosaur Park Formation contains dense concentrations of dinosaur skeletons, both articulated and disarticulated, which are often found with preserved remains of soft tissues. Remains of other animals such as fish, turtles, and crocodilians, as well as plant remains, are also abundant. The formation has been named after Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the formation is well exposed in the badlands that flank the Red Deer River.


Gerobatrachus is an extinct genus of amphibamid temnospondyl (represented by the type species Gerobatrachus hottoni) that lived in the Early Permian, approximately 290 million years ago (Ma), in the area that is now Baylor County, Texas. When it was first described in 2008, Gerobatrachus was announced to be the closest relative of Batrachia, the group that includes modern frogs and salamanders. It possesses a mixture of characteristics from both groups, including a large frog-like head and a salamander-like tail. These features have led to it being dubbed a frogamander by the press. Some more recent studies place Gerobatrachus as the closest relative of Lissamphibia, the group that contains all modern amphibians including frogs, salamanders, and caecilians, or place modern amphibians far from Gerobatrachus within a group called Lepospondyli.

Kuwajima Formation

The Kuwajima Formation is an Early Cretaceous geologic formation in Japan. Its precise age is uncertain due to a lack of identifying fossils, but it is probably Valanginian to Hauterivian in age. Dinosaur remains are among the fossils that have been recovered from the formation, including Albalophosaurus yamaguchiorum.The multituberculate mammals Hakusanobaatar matsuoi and Tedoribaatar reini are known from the Kuwajima Formation. A member of Tritylodontidae, Montirictus kuwajimaensis, has also been recovered from the unit.

Laramie Formation

The Laramie Formation is a geologic formation of Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) age, named by Clarence King in 1876 for exposures in northeastern Colorado, in the United States. It was deposited on a coastal plain and in coastal swamps that flanked the Western Interior Seaway. It contains coal, clay and uranium deposits, as well as plant and animal fossils, including dinosaur remains.

Milk River Formation

The Milk River Formation is a near- shore to terrestrial sedimentary unit deposited during the Late Cretaceous (late Santonian to early Campanian) in southern Alberta. It is equivalent to the marine Lea Park Formation of eastern Alberta, and the Eagle and Telegraph Creek Formations of north-central Montana, and to the upper part of the Niobrara Formation in Kansas.

In Alberta, the Milk River Formation is subdivided into the Telegraph Creek, Virgelle, and Deadhorse Coulee Members. The formation has produced an extensive but little known vertebrate fauna (see Table). Radiometric dates place deposition of the Milk River Formation between ~84.5 Ma and 83.5 Ma (Payenberg et al. 2002).


Oardasaurus (meaning "Oarda de Jos lizard") is an extinct genus of lizard from the latest Cretaceous of Romania. It is a member of the Barbatteiidae, a group of lizards closely related to the Teiidae. At 20 centimetres (7.9 in) in length, it was much smaller than the only other named member of the Barbatteiidae, Barbatteius, which lived slightly later. Like Barbatteius, Oardasaurus can be identified by the presence of a crust of bone deposits, or osteoderms, on the roof of its skull; it differs from Barbatteius in the pattern of the sculpturing on this crust. Both Oardasaurus and Barbatteius lived in the isolated island ecosystem of Hațeg Island, having rapidly diversified into various generalist predators of small prey after their arrival on the island during the Early Cretaceous. They went extinct in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.


The Salientia (Latin salere (salio), "to jump") are a total group of amphibians that includes the order Anura, the frogs and toads, and various extinct proto-frogs that are more closely related to the frogs than they are to the Urodela, the salamanders and newts. The oldest fossil "proto-frog" appeared in the early Triassic of Madagascar, but molecular clock dating suggests their origins may extend further back to the Permian, 265 million years ago.


Shirerpeton is an extinct genus of albanerpetonid amphibian from the Barremian of the Kuwajima Formation in Japan. The type species is Shirerpeton isajii.


Wesserpeton is an extinct genus of albanerpetontid amphibian known from the Isle of Wight, southern England.


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