STL Science Center

STL Science Center

20 May 2011

My decision

I wasn't sure what route to go this week. I know how we're going to end the Permian animal month, and it's a secret (a disturbingly cute secret). However, for this week I looked at Permian reptiles and I looked at the Gorgonopsids. After much deliberation I decided that greyhound shaped wolf headed and tiger mouthed Gorgonops was the way to go.

Gorgonops is a genus, as we so often encounter in our studies, rather than an individual species. Species include G. torvus, G. longifrons, G. whaitsi, and three more questionable species that may actually belong to a different genus. Characteristically the genus has a large, long, slender body (Greyhound), a large somewhat rectangular head with a long muzzle (like a wolf), and large predatory teeth (like any predator of our age really). Without lips its face would look much like a crocodile's in the mouth because of the size of the teeth, but if it had had lips it would look a lot like Marmaduke and any other canine you can imagine with a longer muzzle (except those big sabers at the front of course). Of course, this muzzle was extremely long.

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