Temporal range: Pennsylvanian – Cisuralian
A restoration of Eryops megacephalus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
clade: Dinosauria
Order: †Temnospondyli
Superfamily: †Eryopoidea
Family: †Eryopidae
Genus: Eryops
Cope, 1887
Species: E. megacephalus
Binomial name
Eryops megacephalus
Cope, 1877

Eryops megacephalus (pron.: /ˈɛəri.ɒps/) meaning "drawn-out face" because most of its skull was in front of its eyes (Greek ἐρύειν, eryein = drawn-out + ὤψ, ops = face) is a genus of extinct, semi-aquatic temnospondyl amphibian found primarily in the Lower Permian-aged Admiral Formation (about 295 mya) of Archer County, Texas, but fossils are also found in New Mexico and parts of the eastern United States. Eryops also occurs in older Pennsylvanian strata of the Conemaugh Group in West Virginia Eryops averaged a little over 1.5-2.0 meters (5–6 feet) long, making it one of the largest land animals of its time. It weighed about 90 kilograms (200 lbs). It probably had few predators, although it would have likely been preyed upon by Dimetrodon, which was larger and was the apex predator at the time. Several complete skeletons of Eryops have been found in the Lower Permian deposits, but skull bones and teeth are the most common fossils. Eryops was better adapted to a terrestrial environment than its ancestors. Sturdy limbs and a strong spine supported its body while out of water.


Discovery and species[]


In the Media[]

Welcome to the world

A blue Eryops in The Land Before Time

  • It appeared in the original The Land Before Time film as a huge, blue lizard-like creature witnessing Littlefoot's birth. In real life it lived before the dinosaurs because it lived in the Permian period with Dimetrodon and other synapsids.
  • Eryops features in Jurassic World: The Game as a tournament creature.



  1. https://academic.oup.com/biolinnean/article/109/3/644/2415609
  2. https://books.google.com/books?id=9DIloiBThhIC&lpg=PA94&ots=oZiPTp-IWw&dq=eryops%20archer%20county&pg=PA94#v=onepage&q=eryops%20archer%20county&f=false
  3. https://books.google.no/books?id=0ps6AwAAQBAJ&pg=PT237&dq=%22Eryops+the+most+heavily+ossified+one%22&hl=no&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi86aGliMLqAhWYysQBHUwVBggQ6AEwAHoECAAQAg#v=onepage&q=%22Eryops%20the%20most%20heavily%20ossified%20one%22&f=false