Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In Owen's classification, the thirteenth order of the fourth subclass of Hæmatocrya, named from the genus Labyrinthodon, containing fossil amphibians having “teeth rendered complex by undulation and side branches of the converging folds of enamel, whence the name.” These animals had the head defended, as in
Ganocephala, by a sculptured casque; two occipital condyles; divided dentigerous vomer; and ossified amphicœlous vertebral centra. The order has been divided into ten suborders, and is now broken up, its components being referred to several separate orders of the class Amphibia. The labyrinthodonts were large, sometimes huge, aquatic animals, some exceeding 6 feet in length, with four limbs, belonging to the same class as toads, frogs, and salamanders, of very diverse lizard-like forms, and incapable of leaping. By some modern herpetologists, as Cope, the name is restricted to a suborder, referred to the order Stegocephali, and containing the families Baphetidœ and Anthracosauridœ. Also Labyrinthodonta, Labyrinthodontes.
- n. extinct amphibians typically resembling heavy-bodied salamanders or crocodiles and having a solid flattened skull and conical teeth; Devonian through Triassic
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