STL Science Center

STL Science Center

24 February 2018

Gigantic Murderer

The Permian landscape was filled with enormous therapsids. As we have discussed in past entries (see Moschops), the therapsids are the group of synapsids that includes mammals and their descendants. During the Permian the group of therapsids known as dinocephalians were a small, but mildly successful group for about 10 million years (270 - 260 million years ago). Some of these animals were absolutely terrifying in appearance, possibly because they look like nothing currently living on the planet. One of the more alien looking, and named, dinocephalians of the Middle Permian was the 5 m (16.4 ft) long Titanophoneus potens Efremov, 1938. The name Titanophoneus translates to "Titanic murderer" and the large carnivore prowled the Middle Permian with an 80 cm (2.62 ft) long skull and teeth to match (in that they are huge, not 80 cm long).
©Dmitry Bogdanov
Titanophoneus & Ulemosaurus

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