Edaphosaurus

▪ dinosaur genus
      primitive herbivorous relative of mammals that is found in fossil deposits dating from Late Carboniferous (Carboniferous Period) to the Early Permian (Permian Period) periods (318 million to 271 million years ago).

      Edaphosaurus was more than 3.5 metres (11.5 feet) long, with a short, low skull and blunt conical teeth. The head was very small in comparison with the massive barrel-like body. More distinctive, however, was the large “sail” on its back formed by elongated vertebral arches; the arches were probably connected by a membrane that had bony knobs or crossbars along its length. The sail may have functioned in thermoregulation and also may have served as a storehouse for phosphates (phosphate), which could be easily mobilized from the bony projections supporting the sail. The sail also may have had a defensive function, giving the animal a larger and more imposing appearance to predators.

      A similar sail evolved independently in Dimetrodon. Although Dimetrodon was a voracious predator distantly related to Edaphosaurus, both creatures were pelycosaurs. Members of Pelycosauria were neither dinosaurs nor reptiles, but some may have given rise to the therapsids (therapsid), a group that includes the class Mammalia (mammal).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Edaphosaurus — Temporal range: Pennsylvanian Cisuralian, 303–265 Ma …   Wikipedia

  • Edaphosaurus — Lebensbild von Edaphosaurus pogonias Zeitraum Oberes Karbon bis Unteres Perm 305 bis 272,5 Mio. Jahre Fundorte …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • edaphosaurus — n. an extinct heavy bodied reptile of the late Paleozoic having a dorsal sail or crest. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Edaphosaurus —   [zu griechisch édaphos »(Erd )Boden« und saũros »Eidechse«] der, /...ri|er, Gattung bis 3 m langer, kurzschnauziger, eidechsenartiger urtümlicher Saurier (Ordnung Pelycosauria), lebten vom Oberkarbon bis zum Unterperm Europas und Nordamerikas;… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Edaphosaurus —   Edaphosaurus Rango temporal: Carbonífero superior Pérmico inferior …   Wikipedia Español

  • Edaphosaurus — Édaphosaure Edaphosaurus …   Wikipédia en Français

  • edaphosaurus — noun heavy bodied reptile with a dorsal sail or crest; of the late Paleozoic • Hypernyms: ↑synapsid, ↑synapsid reptile • Member Holonyms: ↑genus Edaphosaurus * * * ˌ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ˈsȯrəs noun Usage: capitalized …   Useful english dictionary

  • edaphosaurus — noun Any of several dinosaurs of the family Edaphosauridae, from the Carboniferous and Permian periods, that had a distinctive dorsal sail or crest …   Wiktionary

  • edaphosaurus — ed·a·pho·sau·rus …   English syllables

  • genus Edaphosaurus — noun type genus of the Edaphosauridae • Hypernyms: ↑reptile genus • Member Holonyms: ↑Edaphosauridae, ↑family Edaphosauridae • Member Meronyms: ↑edaphosaurus …   Useful english dictionary

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