Diplocaulus - Wiki
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[Photo] Diplocaulus magnicornis, an early permian lepospondyli, pencil drawing, digital coloring. Date Feb 5, 2007. Author Arthur Weasley http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:ArthurWeasley
Fossil range: Early to Late Permian
Diplocaulus is known for the long protrusions on the sides of its skull, which cause the skull to be shaped similar to a boomerang. Judging from its weak limbs and relatively short tail, it is presumed to have swum with an up-and-down movement of its body, not unlike cetaceans today. The wide head could have helped the creature glide through the water. Also, it is thought to have had defensive purposes as any predator (even the large-headed Eryops) would have a hard time trying to swallow a creature with such a wide head. A close cousin of Diplocaulus is Diploceraspis.
Diplocaulus in popular culture
Unknown hammerhead salamanders are reported in cryptozoology from time to time. In 1992, a Japanese artist made a small diplocaulus model which he photographed in a pan on a lawn, as if captured. The photo looked quite realistic and was circulated in 2004 and 2005 on forums such as cryptozoology.com, where many thought it was a real salamander.
In the final episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinji Ikari is transformed into various shapes, among them a diplocaulus and a hallucigenia.
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