Jason S. Anderson

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The origin of extant amphibians (Lissamphibia: frogs, salamanders and caecilians) is one of the most controversial questions in vertebrate evolution, owing to large morphological and temporal gaps in the fossil record. Current discussions focus on three competing hypotheses: a monophyletic origin within either Temnospondyli or Lepospondyli, or a(More)
Herbivore coexistence on the Late Cretaceous island continent of Laramidia has been a topic of great interest, stemming from the paradoxically high diversity and biomass of these animals in relation to the relatively small landmass available to them. Various hypotheses have been advanced to account for these facts, of which niche partitioning is among the(More)
Some recent morphological analyses have brought into question the monophyly of Lissamphibia (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians). In these analyses, brachystelechid "microsaurs" are found to be sister group to caecilians. To test this hypothesis, the holotype specimen of the brachystelechid Carrolla craddocki was submitted to high-resolution X-ray computed(More)
The recent description of the stem batrachian Gerobatrachus has changed the terms of the ongoing debate on the origin of extant amphibians (Lissamphibia: frogs, salamanders, and the limbless caecilians). This important fossil, through a shared mosaic of unique derived salientian and urodele characters, links frogs and salamanders with an archaic group of(More)
The lack of fossil tetrapod bearing deposits in the earliest Carboniferous ('Romer's Gap') has provoked some recent discussions regarding the proximal cause, with three explanations being offered: environmental, taphonomic, and collection failure. One of the few, and earliest, windows into this time is the locality of Blue Beach exposed in the Tournaisian(More)
Megaherbivorous dinosaur coexistence on the Late Cretaceous island continent of Laramidia has long puzzled researchers, owing to the mystery of how so many large herbivores (6-8 sympatric species, in many instances) could coexist on such a small (4-7 million km(2)) landmass. Various explanations have been put forth, one of which-dietary niche(More)
Megaherbivorous dinosaurs were exceptionally diverse on the Late Cretaceous island continent of Laramidia, and a growing body of evidence suggests that this diversity was facilitated by dietary niche partitioning. We test this hypothesis using the fossil megaherbivore assemblage from the Dinosaur Park Formation (upper Campanian) of Alberta as a model.(More)
The scant fossil record of caecilians has obscured the origin and evolution of this lissamphibian group. Eocaecilia micropodia from the Lower Jurassic of North America remains the only stem-group caecilian with an almost complete skull preserved. However, this taxon has been controversial, engendering re-evaluation of traits considered to be plesiomorphic(More)
Cacops, one of the most distinctive Paleozoic amphibians, is part of a clade of dissorophoid temnospondyls that diversified in the equatorial region of Pangea during the Late Carboniferous and Early Permian, persisting into the Late Permian in Central Russia and China. Dissorophids were a successful group of fully terrestrial, often spectacularly armoured(More)