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« "20, 25 feet long, large head, short legs." »
Matt Anderson[src]


Labyrinthodonts were large amphibious creatures which lived in the Palaeozoic and the early Mesozoic era.

Characteristics

The Labyrinthodont species from the Witchfield Cove incursion was a semi-aquatic carnivorous amphibian, which grew to be up to several metres long in adulthood. They possessed scaly grey skin, a large flattish head with two rows of teeth, small but powerful legs, and a long, serpentine or eel-like body. Due to its long, worm-like body, the Labyrinthodont was dangerously flexible and fast-moving on land. While juveniles were mostly harmless to large animals like humans, adult Labyrinthodonts were highly aggressive and dangerous, attacking and attempting to devour any prey in water or on land which drew its attention while it was hunting or were in its way.  Adults were apparently highly protective of their young, willing to abandon helpless prey if they heard them call (which could apparently be heard from some distance away).

Incursions and encounters

Episode 4.5

4x5 LabyrinthodontChasesBoy

The Labyrinthodont chasing a boy in the Haven Holidays caravan park. (Episode 4.5)

Two Labyrinthodonts (a parent and a juvenile) came through an Anomaly into a seaside cave near the village of Witchfield Cove in the present a matter of decades before, where they fed off local cattle. As the Lennons were dumping fuel into the cave through a drain, the Anomaly frequently became too weak for the Labyrinthodonts to return through. Ray Lennon discovered the Labyrinthodonts and locked them in the cave, but occasionally released the adult to kill anyone who came close to discovering the Lennons' fuel-smuggling operation.

Over the years, the adult Labyrinthodont was sighted from whenever it was released or came to feed on cattle, and became notoriously known among Witchfield Cove as "the Witchfield Worm." One night, Ray released the Labyrinthodont to kill a boy who had come to prove the existence of the "Witchfield Worm." The next day, the Labyrinthodont attacked a fisherman by a river, but the fisherman was saved by Matt Anderson and the Labyrinthodont then returned to the river.

Abby Maitland later found the Labyrithodont and chased it to a Haven Holidays caravan park, where it chased two young boys whom Abby saved. Abby hid in a caravan from the Labyrinthodont, and the creature climbed onto the caravan roof, trying to get to Abby inside. Abby drove the caravan, with the Labyrinthodont still on its roof, out of the caravan park; but the creature tried to break inside through the window, causing Abby to crash the caravan.

LabyrinthodontInfobox

The juvenile Labyrinthodont in the cave. (Episode 4.5)

Meanwhile, back in the cave, the acid left over from the oil being dumped into the cave was injuring the juvenile Labyrinthodont still there. The adult creature heard the juvenile's distress and returned to the cave. There, the creature ate the Lennons; and while Abby distracted the Labyrinthodont, Connor Temple moved the oil away from the Anomaly, allowing it to fully open. The two Labyrinthodonts then returned through to their time.

Real life

Labyrinthodont (name meaning "maze-toothed") was a subclass of amphibian which existed from 395 to 120 million years ago. It is ancestral to all terrestrial vertebrates.

Trivia

  • This was the first amphibious creature to appear in Primeval.
  • Like Kaprosuchus, Smilodon, Gorgonopsid, the Camouflage Beast and the Giant Burrowing Insects, the Labyrinthodont first came through an Anomaly before the ARC was founded.
  • This was yet another creature to have been seen as a monster by locals.
  • It has killed more than three people because Abby says people (and livestock) have been disappearing for decades.
  • According to the Primeval official site, this Labyrinthodont encountered at Witchfield Cove was native to Poland.
  • 4x5 LabyrinthodontAtWitchfieldCave

    The Labyrinthodont in a cave near Witchfield Cove. (Episode 4.5)

    This was Tim Haines' favorite creature in Series 4 and 5.
  • The Labyrinthinodont appeared in the Primeval: New World teaser trailer, though never appeared or was referenced in any form in the series.

Errors

  • It was stated that Labyrinthodont had highly reduced limbs, but in Episode 4.5, it had powerful legs and could even stand upright for several seconds.
  • The Labyrinthodont should have had smooth skin, not thick scales, covering its body.
  • The Labyrinthodont had upper and lower teeth in the series, but in real life they were smaller.
  • The labyrinthodont in the show looked like a worm salamander with crocodilian-like scales, but in real life, it was more like a regular salamander.
  • The Labyrinthodont was shown to be able to live very well out of the water, but in real life it would have needed to wet its skin from time to time.
  • The Labyrinthodont in Primeval was shown to have the ability to climb up things like trailers, but in the reality Labyrinthodont was strictly firmed to the ground.

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