Fedexia striegeli was a member of an extinct amphibian group called trematopids, which lived in the tropical Pittsburgh climate almost 305 million years ago.
The only known specimen of Fedexia is a skull discovered by University of Pittsburgh student Adam Striegel during a geology class field trip in 2004. In 2010, collections manager Amy Henrici, now-retired Vertebrate Paleontology curator Dave Berman, and other museum scientists described the new species.
This fossil provided scientists with important clues that helped them understand more about prehistoric climate change and amphibian evolution. It showed that amphibians began spending more time on land about 305 million years ago — 20 million years earlier than scientists had previously thought!
(photo by Hayley Pontia)