As early as 1882 there were
fossils found outside of Seymour by Charles H. Sternberg as the result of
a contract he had with Harvard University to send them crates of fossils.
That August he found the red beds on the Craddock ranch that had been described
by Professor Cummins of Harvard.
Mr. Sternberg hunted fossils the in area for many years. While on a hunt
for new fossil beds with Mr. Tom Craddock, Sternberg discovered a new cave
(thick with rattlesnakes and thus left unexplored) and a bowl of land that
he described as iridescent. While in that "bowl" he collected
many fossilized bones and packed them away. Although the fossils were sent
to Harvard, Mr. Sternberg also corresponded with Dr. Broili, the curator
of the museum in Munich, Germany.
Dr. T. E. White of Harvard found the boxes of bones in 1939. He discovered
in those boxed 9 individual specimens, although they were not complete.
Mr. Broili made the journey to Seymour to look at the fossil beds. After
a prolonged period of time he recognized that it was a rare find. He is
credited with naming the creature the "Seymouria baylorensis",
due to bones being found in Seymour, Baylor County.
Seymouria is about 32-inches long. It is the "missing link" between
amphibians and reptiles. It is unknown whether they had scales or slick
skin. Seymouria was a small land dwelling animal that lived about 280 million
years ago during the Permian Period of the Paleozoic Era and moved about
by undulating its backbone from side to side. It was probably cold-blooded
and had a small brain. It is very much debated if Seymouria is an amphibian
or reptile. Many believe it to be a very evolved amphibian. Seymouria was
probably an omnivore that ate insects, small vertebrates and carrion.
Information from "Salt Pork to Sirloin, The History of Baylor County
from 1878 to Present, volume 2" and the Austin Nature and Science
Picture courtesy of Paleontological Museum of Oslo, Norway.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science Seymouria dig - Seymour, Texas
Seymouria Yahoo Group
Fossil Dig in Seymour