Globetrotting Dinocephalian — Ulemosaurus goes Walkabout [above]
The common characteristics of later dinocephalians were the short neck and tail, and a tubby, near-spherical torso. Very similar features are seen in elephants today. Body heat-loss was
reduced by two developments in the dinocephalians. First, by simply growing larger. A bigger animal, by virtue of its greater mass alone, has a more stable body temperature. It loses (or gains)
heat more slowly. Second, by reducing the animal's surface area — body heat is lost through the skin and a short neck or tail has less skin area. Of course, conserving energy
is only one aspect of maintaining body heat — another is processing sufficient food to fuel that large body.