On the Fossil Amphibia from the Gas Coal of Nýřrany and other Deposits in Czechoslovakia.



Researches on fossil Amphibia in this century, with few exceptions, have been concerned with the morphology of the Labyrinthodonts and its interpretation, work which has shown, for the first time, the evolutionary significance of the morphological changes taking place in the group. There exist, however, contemporaneously with the Carboniferous and Permian Labyrinthodonts, many other fossil Amphibia. These forms, which never attained the size of the latter group, display in their morphology a variety and diversity which are in direct contrast to that uniformity of structure common to all Labyrin-thodont species.

The Nýřany fauna, in numbers and in variety, is one of the largest fossil Amphibian faunas known, containing, in addition to ten species of Labyrinthodonts, some twenty determinable species belonging to Orders other than the Labyrinthodontia, as well as many other species represented only by fragments and incomplete specimens. The importance of these delicate fossils, so perfect in their preservation, lies in the contribution which they make to the morphology of the small Carboniferous Amphibia. This contribution is summarised under the headings of the various Orders (Part I.), the theoretical significance of which is then discussed in a separate section (Part II.).