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The Triassic Reptile With "Two Faces"

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 Archeology / Paleontology   |   Biology   |   Science
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Figuring out what this creatures face actually looked like would take paleontologists years. But understanding this weird animal can help us shine a light on at least one way for ecosystems to bounce back from even the worst mass extinction.

Thanks to Ceri Thomas ( for the many excellent Triassic reptile illustrations (both Atopodentatus and Henodus) featured in this episode!

And thanks to Xiao-Chun Wu, Nick Fraser, and Shixue Hu for providing photos for this video!

Finally, thanks to Joschua Knppe ( (the thumbnail illustration!), Julio Lacerda (, Jaime Headden (, and Dmitry Bogdanov for their wonderful paleoart as well.

Both Atopodentatus papers discussed in this video:
Cheng, L., Chen, X., Shang, Q. et al. 2014. A new marine reptile from the Triassic of China, with a highly specialized feeding adaptation. Naturwissenschaften 101, 251259 DO1: 10.1007/s00114-014-1148-4

Chun, L., Rieppel, O., Long, C. & Fraser, N.C. 2016. The earliest herbivorous marine reptile and its remarkable jaw apparatus. Science Advances 2(5): e1501659 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501659

And on the paper on the Luoping biota:
Hu, S., Zhang, Q., Chen, Z.Q., Zhou, C., Lu, T. Xie, T., Wen, W., Huang, J. & Benton, M.J. 2010. The Luoping biota: exceptional preservation, and new evidence on the Triassic recovery from end-Permian mass extinction. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278: 2274-2282

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