STL Science Center

STL Science Center

21 May 2011


The numerous species of Gorgonops should look somewhat alike, but probably not entirely alike. However, images on the internet, despite the species, have a tendency to look quite similar overall. I think of it in the way I think of dogs. All canines share similar features, but not all canines are identical because there are so many different species. It stands to reason that Gorgonopsids should also differ from species to species more than they do in the available art. At any rate, let's start the art show. First, here's a look at one of the questionable species, G. kaiseri:
Compare the above with the two versions that have appeared on television and are just labeled Gorgonops (probably taken from the type species G. torvus):
From Primeval
Walking With Monsters
Both are very similar and thanks to the BBC's Primeval we can get a general respect for the size of the creatures compared to our present day lives. The type species was about 10 feet long and thought to be between 500 and 1000 pounds. So this looks about as accurate as we're going to get without comparing a skeleton in a museum, which is, coincidentally, about as easy as finding a picture of a ghost in a snowstorm. They just do not seem to exist on the internet and this could be because these skeletons are not displayed or because they are not photographed often.

Some of the more alternative views of Gorgonopsids give us an interesting view into their imagined features and facial expressions. I picked three I especially like and will label why I like them in the captions that follow them:
I love the whiskers here, showing its movement toward mammalian characteristics and the shape and color of the eye.
This is a beautifully sculpted in action piece by a talented Canadian artist (
This one I love simply because it has trended away from the long sharp muzzle and opted instead for a more lizard like appearance and less of a mammalian appearance. It's an interesting deviation from all the other views we've looked at.

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