The species of reptiles and amphibians are few and chiefly confined to the southern parts.
In the later Carboniferous rocks the earliest amphibians make their appearance in considerable numbers; they were all Stegocephalians (Labyrinthodonts) with long bodies, a head covered with bony plates and weak or undeveloped limbs.
A difficulty naturally arises with regard to the fact that in reptiles the occipital condyle by which the skull articulates with the vertebral column is single, although composed of three elements, whereas in amphibians and mammals the articulation is formed by a pair of condyles.
Since the adoption of an aquatic mode of life by Desis and Argyroneta involves no increased facilities in getting food, and merely substitutes for ordinary terrestrial enemies fishes and crustaceans in the former case, and fishes, amphibians, and insectivorous water-insects in the latter, the supposition is justified that the change in environment is due to the unremitting persecution of Pompilidae and Ichneumonidae, which would not venture to pursue their prey beneath the water's surface.
New and unheard-of orders of amphibians, reptiles and mammals came to the surface of knowledge, revolutionizing thought, demonstrating the evolution theory, and solving some of the most important problems of descent.