Stegocephalia is an older name for the large fossil amphibians, comprising all pre-Jurassic and some later extinct large groups having more or less salamander-like build. The term was coined in 1868 by American palaentologist Edward Drinker Cope and comes from Greek στεγοκεφαλια - "roofed head", and refer to the copious amounts of dermal armour some of the larger primitive forms evidently had. In recent times, Canadian paleontologist Michel Laurin has used as a phylogenetic expression to encompass all vertebrates with toes rather than fins, i.e. tetrapods.
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