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In Photos: Fossils Reveal Bizarre Boomerang-Headed Amphibian

Hunter

dimetrodon fossils, diplocalus fossils, texas bone bed

(Image credit: Robert Bakker.)

An illustration of Dimetrodon extracting an unfortunate boomerang-head amphibian from its burrow. Shed teeth mingled with amphibian bones reveal that the fin-back ate these strange burrowing creatures in the Permian period.

Bones of the creature

dimetrodon fossils, diplocalus fossils, texas bone bed

(Image credit: Houston Museum of Natural Science.)

A dimetrodon skeleton. These lizard-like creatures are actually related to modern mammals.

FIGHT!

dimetrodon fossils, diplocalus fossils, texas bone bed

(Image credit: Robert Bakker.)

Dimetrodon loomisi, flipping another amphibian, Trimerorhachis.

Perspective

dimetrodon fossils, diplocalus fossils, texas bone bed

(Image credit: Robert Bakker.)

A cardboard cut-out in the Texas red beds offers a sense of scale at the site where the Diplocalus (boomerang-head) fossils were found.

A model to examine

dimetrodon fossils, diplocalus fossils, texas bone bed

(Image credit: Houston Museum of Natural Science.)

A model dimetrodon in the Houston Museum of Natural Science paleo hall.

Head-bangers

dimetrodon fossils, diplocalus fossils, texas bone bed

(Image credit: Robert Bakker, Dinosaur Heresies (1986))

An illustration of two bizarre boomerang-heads (Diplocaulus). The strange heads were likely for sexual display to attract mates.

A painful end

dimetrodon fossils, diplocalus fossils, texas bone bed

(Image credit: Robert Bakker.)

Ouch! A fossilized boomerang-head suffered a life-ending bite to the nose by a finbacked Dimedtrodon.