Definitions for edaphosaurus
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word edaphosaurus
heavy-bodied reptile with a dorsal sail or crest; of the late Paleozoic
any of several dinosaurs of the family Edaphosauridae, from the Carboniferous and Permian periods, that had a distinctive dorsal sail or crest
Edaphosaurus is a genus of extinct edaphosaurid synapsid that lived around 303 to 275 million years ago, during the Late Carboniferous to Early Permian periods. The American paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope first described Edaphosaurus in 1882, naming it for the "dental pavement" on both the upper and lower jaws, from the Greek edaphos/εδαφος and σαυρος/sauros. Edaphosaurus is important as one of the earliest known large plant-eating amniote tetrapods. In addition to the large tooth plates in its jaws, the most characteristic feature of Edaphosaurus is a sail on its back. A number of other synapsids from the same time period also have tall dorsal sails, most famously the large apex predator Dimetrodon. However, the sail on Edaphosaurus is different in shape and morphology. The first fossils of Edaphosaurus came from Texas in North America, with later finds in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. Fragmentary fossils attributed to Edaphosaurus also have been found in the Czech Republic and in Germany in Central Europe. The name Edaphosaurus, meant as "pavement lizard", is often translated inaccurately as "earth lizard," "ground lizard," or "foundation lizard" based on other meanings for Greek edaphos such as "soil, earth, ground, land, base" used in Neo-Latin scientific nomenclature. However, older names in paleontology such as Edaphodon Buckland, 1838 "pavement tooth" match Cope's clearly intended meaning "pavement" for Greek edaphos in reference to the animal's teeth.
Find a translation for the edaphosaurus definition in other languages:
Select another language:
Discuss these edaphosaurus definitions with the community:
Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:
"edaphosaurus." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 19 Apr. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/edaphosaurus>.