When Giant Amphibians Reigned

  • Published: 09 October 2018
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    Temnospondyls were a huge group of amphibians that existed for 210 million years. And calling them ‘diverse’ would be putting it mildly. Yet in the end, two major threats would push them to extinction: the always-changing climate and the amniote egg.

    Thanks to Ceri Thomas for the very cool Temnospondyl reconstructions throughout this episode. Check out more of Ceri's paleoart at alphynix.tumblr.com and nixillustration.com

    And thanks as always to Nobumichi Tamura for allowing us to use his wonderful paleoart: spinops.blogspot.com/

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: cepnet.mobi/user/pbsdigitalstudios

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    Katie Fichtner, Aldo Espinosa Zúñiga, Anthony Callaghan, الخليفي سلطان, Gabriel Cortez, Marcus Lejon, Anel Salas, Robert Arévalo, Robert Hill, Kelby Reid, Todd Dittman, Betsy Radley, Svetlana Pylaeva, Colin Sylvester, Philip Slingerland, John Vanek, Jose Garcia, Noah offitzer, Eric Vonk, Tony Wamsley, Henrik Peteri, Jonathan Wright, Jon Monteiro, James Bording, Brad Nicholls, Miles Chaston, Michael McClellan, Jeff Graham, Maria Humphrey, Nathan Paskett, Connor Jensen, Sapjes, Daisuke Goto, Hubert Rady, Yuntao Zhou, Gregory Kintz, Tyson Cleary, Chandler Bass, Maly Lor, Joao Ascensao. Tsee Lee, Sarah Fritts, Ruben Winter, Ron Harvey Jr, Joshua Mitchell, Johnny Li, Jacob Gerke, Alex Yan

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    Gaining Ground: The Origin and Evolution of Tetrapods, Second Edition by Jennifer A. Clack.
    The Rise of Amphibians: 365 Million Years of Evolution by Robert Carroll.
    Amphibian Evolution: The Life of Early Land Vertebrates by Rainer R. Schoch.
    Earth Before the Dinosaurs by Sebastian Steyer.
    How Vertebrates Left the Water by Michel Laurin.
    The Late Triassic World: Earth in a Time of Transition, edited by Lawrence H. Tanner.
    The Story of Life in 25 Fossils: Tales of Intrepid Explorers and the Wonders of Evolution by Donald R. Prothero.
    “Fishes and Amphibians From the Late Permian Pedra De Fogo Formation of Northern Brazil” by Cox and Barry, 1991.
    “Lower Triassic Temnospondyli of Tasmania” by Cogsgriff, 1974.
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 938

  • nyood mono
    nyood mono  1 days back

    such a kool asuchus

    • Henrique Erzinger
      Henrique Erzinger  2 days back

      Still waiting on that episode on placentas... Siri never works

      • Nick S
        Nick S  2 days back

        If you camp here in Florida, you can hear gigantic bull alligators calling out at night. They're so loud, the entire forest shuts up in fear, including the campers. I can only imagine what these giant amphibians would have sounded like when they called out.

        • Nick Hoffman
          Nick Hoffman  1 weeks back

          has the placenta episode happened yet??

          • Ahmed Ashraf
            Ahmed Ashraf  2 weeks back

            Hay, where is our placentas episode?

            • Stefan The RainbowPhoenix

              Does Steve have a surname? And why is he always named last?

              • Paul Mulcahy
                Paul Mulcahy  4 weeks back

                Where do toads fit in in all this?

                • Ice G
                  Ice G  1 months back

                  So, Amphibians are Water/ Ground type.. interesting..

                  • Jordan Brown
                    Jordan Brown  1 months back

                    6:22 had me dying! 😂

                    • Richard Paxford
                      Richard Paxford  1 months back

                      You guys should totally team up with Zefrank1 and do: "True Facts about The Fossil" 😊

                      • Miranda Wilson
                        Miranda Wilson  1 months back

                        and this is what has remained

                        • Holycraposaurus
                          Holycraposaurus  1 months back

                          i love dis. but please somebody tell this guy to speak less hastily.

                          • Sillyg0053
                            Sillyg0053  1 months back

                            But whats in the wierd front zipper

                            • Pokenerd 7X
                              Pokenerd 7X  1 months back

                              TierZoo should do a, "When Amphibians were top class" vid. Seeing as how S class amphibians were pretty cool.

                              • Nick Helder
                                Nick Helder  1 months back

                                Where's our video on placentas

                                • i'm a alien
                                  i'm a alien  1 months back

                                  Shoulda called this Koolasuchus and the Gang.

                                  • Erin Rising
                                    Erin Rising  2 months back

                                    And one day will again (any Voyager fans?)

                                    • Magicaparanoia
                                      Magicaparanoia  2 months back

                                      Do a video about cooking in the Paleolithic

                                      • Cedar Bobedar
                                        Cedar Bobedar  2 months back

                                        Wonder how that placenta episode is going

                                        • Carl Story
                                          Carl Story  2 months back

                                          I understand the human race had a bottle neck where only 100 adults lived through. Could that event be what killed the neanderthals?

                                        • Brad Di Pietro
                                          Brad Di Pietro  2 months back

                                          Giant Japanese Salmander must be a relative.

                                          • Augusto Pinochet
                                            Augusto Pinochet  2 months back

                                            Damn I wish it was possible to go back in time to to see animals like these walking and swimming around

                                            • Kiernan Fay
                                              Kiernan Fay  2 months back

                                              @ 2:30 that amphibian has gills outside of the water, was there an amphibian that retains it's gills that also developed lungs stable enough to be semi-terrestrial?

                                              • Reverse Universe
                                                Reverse Universe  2 months back

                                                Cool 👍

                                                • Robert estrada
                                                  Robert estrada  2 months back

                                                  What happened to the placenta episode lol

                                                  • Andy Miron
                                                    Andy Miron  2 months back

                                                    Who is STEVE?

                                                    • Kevin Escorpien
                                                      Kevin Escorpien  2 months back

                                                      I'm not 100% on this, but that red-backed salamander at 1:42 looks a lot like an eastern newt in the eft stage. All the red-backs I've seen (or seen pictures of) are darker on the sides than the top. And those look like res spots down the back. Any herpetologists reading this can tell me whether I'm mistaken?

                                                      • Art blender
                                                        Art blender  2 months back

                                                        WHERE IS THE PLACENTA VIDEO!?
                                                        honestly, I'm joking however that sounds incredible

                                                        • Skooby Doofus
                                                          Skooby Doofus  2 months back

                                                          Blake: "...Frog like teeth, as well"
                                                          Me: "Frogs have teeth?"

                                                          • Mack McCallister
                                                            Mack McCallister  2 months back

                                                            I've always wondered if T-rex wasn't a hopping around insectivor munching on big bugs of the Jerassic?

                                                            • Ti SH
                                                              Ti SH  2 months back

                                                              Please make a video about why and how we are the only naked primates. ^_^

                                                              • prism z
                                                                prism z  2 months back

                                                                Is anyone else still waiting for that video about placentas?

                                                                • dragonamt
                                                                  dragonamt  2 months back

                                                                  One thing wrong with your illustrations, there is grass. There was DEFINITELY no grass in the Permian.

                                                                  • Kris MD
                                                                    Kris MD  2 months back

                                                                    I demand answers, PBS Eons

                                                                    • Larissa Rose Tracey Nuñez-Hill

                                                                      Can we talk about monotremes, marsupials, and placental mammal. Maybe you could do a video all about monotremes extant and extinct.

                                                                      • Michael Southcott
                                                                        Michael Southcott  3 months back

                                                                        This seems like a planet of survivors. The mighty lineages of crocodilians are represented today by the cayman, alligator and crocidiles, just as the vast array of amphibians are represented by the salamanders, frogs, toads  and others lissamphibians . Entire classes of dinosaurs have been reduced to the avian lineage. It seems as if the stresses and pressures brought about by the permian extinction and the rise of the dinosaurs setup the surviving mammalians to finally dominate the planet again.

                                                                        • Shadow Deslar
                                                                          Shadow Deslar  3 months back

                                                                          What about
                                                                          Giant snakes

                                                                          • Rederance
                                                                            Rederance  3 months back

                                                                            I do have a question. Would the modern Giant Salamanders like Hell Benders and the Chinese Giant Salamander be counted in the same groups as the prehistoric amphibians like Koolasuchus and Metoposaurs? That's always bothered me. Like they share many common attributes as well as size to a certain extent.

                                                                            • Seow Siong Yap
                                                                              Seow Siong Yap  3 months back

                                                                              What is Koolasuchus???

                                                                              • Michael M.
                                                                                Michael M.  3 months back

                                                                                Do humans have plant DNA from the first cells?

                                                                                • Michael M.
                                                                                  Michael M.  3 months back

                                                                                  Have all species been on the top of the food chain at some point.

                                                                                  • Michael M.
                                                                                    Michael M.  3 months back

                                                                                    So if some plants can clone them selves is it possible that the plants today are clones of the first plant. And what about plants that can't clone?

                                                                                    • Ander Ander
                                                                                      Ander Ander  3 months back

                                                                                      " Earth's always changing climate" yet this same station will virtue signal about global warming

                                                                                      • Jennie Ellis
                                                                                        Jennie Ellis  3 months back

                                                                                        Did you ever make a placenta video!? I'd love to watch

                                                                                        • Sylwia Bukato
                                                                                          Sylwia Bukato  3 months back

                                                                                          Born in the wrong age 😢

                                                                                          • Mickey McGowan
                                                                                            Mickey McGowan  3 months back


                                                                                            • Mickey McGowan
                                                                                              Mickey McGowan  3 months back

                                                                                              6:32 NO someone needs a spraybottle or a slap or something talking into your phone is eehk dont do that dont take your phone out while youre doing a talky weird background thing. Bad.

                                                                                              • Digital Chameleon
                                                                                                Digital Chameleon  3 months back

                                                                                                Amazing. Great delivery, subbed and after looking at what else you have done, phew gonna be some hours spent here now. Peace buddy thanks.