Prehistoric Models: Therapsids

Therapsida is a large group of synapsids (formerly called “mammal like reptiles”) which include the ancestors of modern mammals. They were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates from the middle/late Permian to the early Triassic. The most well known of this group are the saber toothed Gorgonopsia (gorgons for short). 

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Clade: Synapsida – Clade: Therapsida – Clade: Neotherapsida – Clade: Theriodontia – Clade: Gorgonopsia 

 

Genus: Lycaenops ‭”Wolf face‭”‬.

Genus pronounced: Ly-can-ops.

Named By: Robert Broom‭ ‬-‭ ‬1925.

Species: L.‭ ‬ornatus‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬L. minor, L. ornatus, L. quadrata, L. sollasi, L. tenuirostris.

Known locations: South Africa.

Time period: Permian (Wuchiapingian).

Diet: Carnivore.

Size: 1‭ ‬meter long.

Genus: Dinogorgon ‭”Terrible Gorgon‭”‬.

Genus pronounced: Dy-noe-gor-gon.

Named By: Robert Broom‭ – ‬1936.

Species: D.‭ ‬rubidgei‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬pricei,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬quinquemolaris.

Known locations: Tanzania and South Africa.

Time period: Permian (Wuchiapingian).

Diet: Carnivore.

Size: 2 meters long.

Genus: Inostrancevia ‭”After Aleksandr Inostrantsev‭”‬.

Genus pronounced: In-oh-stran-see-ve-ah.

Named By: Vladimir P.‭ ‬Amalitsky‭ ‬-‭ ‬1922.

Species: I.‭ ‬alexandri‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬I.‭ ‬latifrons,‭ ‬I.‭ ‬uralensis.

Known locations: Russia.

Time period: Permian (Wuchiapingian).

Diet: Carnivore.

Size: 3.5‭ ‬meters long.‭ 

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Clade: Synapsida – Clade: Therapsida – Clade: Eutheriodontia – Suborder: Therocephalia – Family: Trochosuchidae

 

Genus: Trochosaurus.

Genus pronounced: Tro-ko-sore-us.

Named By: Haughton‭ ‬1915.

Species: T.‭ ‬acutus‭ (‬type‭)‬.

Known locations: South Africa.

Time period: Permian.

Diet: Carnivore.

Size: Unavailable.

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Clade: Synapsida – Clade: Therapsida – Clade: Eutheriodontia – Clade: Cynodontia – Clade: Cynognathia – Family: Cynognathidae

 

Genus: Cynognathus “Dog jaw‭”‬.

Genus pronounced: Sy-noe-nay-fuss.

Named By: Harry Govier Seeley‭ ‬-‭ ‬1895.

Species: C.‭ ‬crateronotus‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬seeleyi.

Known locations: Antarctica,‭ ‬Argentina,‭ ‬China,‭ ‬South Africa.

Time period: Triassic (Anisian).

Diet: Carnivore.

Size: 1‭ ‬meter long.

Genus: Cynognathus “Dog jaw‭”‬.

Genus pronounced: Sy-noe-nay-fuss.

Named By: Harry Govier Seeley‭ ‬-‭ ‬1895.

Species: C.‭ ‬crateronotus‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬seeleyi.

Known locations: Antarctica,‭ ‬Argentina,‭ ‬China,‭ ‬South Africa.

Time period: Triassic (Anisian).

Diet: Carnivore.

Size: 1‭ ‬meter long.

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Clade: Synapsida – Clade: Therapsida – Suborder: Anomodontia – Clade: Chainosauria – Clade: Dicynodontia 

 

Genus: Dicynodon ‭”‬Two dog teeth‭”‬.

Genus pronounced: Die-cy-no-don.

Named By: Richard Owen‭ ‬-‭ ‬1845.

Classification: Family: Dicynodontidae.

Species: D.‭ ‬lacerticeps‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬D. angielczyki, D.‭ ‬bolorhinus,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬leoniceps,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬leontops,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬lissops,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬osborni,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬plateceps,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬trautscholdi,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬whaitsi.

Known locations: China,‭ ‬Russia,‭ ‬South Africa,‭ ‬Tanzania.

Time period: Permian.

Diet: Herbivore.

Size: Average‭ ‬1.2‭ ‬meters long,‭ ‬but some variation between species.

Genus: Placerias “Broad body”.

Genus pronounced: Plah-see-ree-ass.

Named By: Lucas – 1904.

Classification: Family: Kannemeyeriidae.

Species: P. gigas, P. gigus, P. hesternus.

Known locations: USA, Arizona.

Time period: Triassic (Carnian to Norian).

Type: Herbivore.

Size: Up to 3.5 meters long.

Genus: Kannemeyeria ‭”‬From Kanne‭”‬.

Genus pronounced: Kan-eh-my-air-ee-ah.

Named By: Harry Govier Seeley‭ ‬-‭ ‬1908.

Classification: Family:‭ ‬Kannemeyeriidae.

Species: K. simocephalus (type), K. aganosteus, K. lophorhinus.

Known locations: Africa,‭ ‬Asia,‭ ‬India,‭ ‬South America.

Time period: Olenekian to Anisian of the Triassic.

Diet: Herbivore.

Size: 3‭ ‬meters long.

Genus: Lystrosaurus‭ “‬Shovel lizard‭”.

Genus ronounced: Liss-tro-sore-us.

Named By: Edward Drinker Cope‭ ‬-‭ ‬1870.

Classification: Family: ‬Lystrosauridae.

Species: L.‭ ‬murrayi‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬L.‭ ‬declivus,‭ ‬L.‭ ‬curvatus,‭ ‬L.‭ ‬maccaigi,‭ ‬L.‭ ‬georgi.

Known locations: Widespread across southern continents with the main concentration of remains found in South Africa.‭ ‬Other specimens have been recovered from Antarctica,‭ ‬China,‭ ‬India,‭ ‬Mongolia and Russia.

Time period: Late Permian to the Early Triassic.

Type: Herbivore.

Size: Between 0.6 and 2.5 meters long depending upon the species. Average about 0.9 meters long.

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Clade: Synapsida – Clade: Therapsida – Suborder: Dinocephalia – Family: Estemmenosuchidae

 

Genus: Estemmenosuchus ‭”‬Crowned crocodile‭”‬.

Genus pronounced: Ess-teh-men-oh-soo-kuss.

Named By: Chudinov‭ ‬-‭ ‬1960.‭

Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Synapsida,‭ ‬Therapsida,‭ ‬Dinocephalia,‭ ‬Estemmenosuchidae.

Species: E.‭ ‬uralensis, (type)‭ ‬E.‭ ‬mirabilis.

Known locations: Russia,‭ ‬Perm region.

Time period: Permian (Wordian).

Diet: Herbivore.

Size: E. uralensis about 4.5 meters long, E. mirabilis about 3 meters long.

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