The Therapsids


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Gorgonopsids  —;  the Sabre-toothed killers

Gorgonopsids were the dominant land predators of the Late Permian. When gorgonopsids first appeared they were overshadowed by the larger meat-eating dinocephalians. But gorgonopsids had one major advantage —; huge canines set in jaws capable of a 90° gape to deliver the killing bite. Able to puncture tough armour, large prey could be stabbed and then left to bleed to death.

left —; "...And a-hunting we will go."

Scent is more important to a therapsid predator than eyesight or good hearing. When targets of opportunity fail to present themselves, an opportunity must be created. This forest track with a watering hole nearby is as good a place as any to start the hunt...

Like other predators of its time, gorgonopsids weren't built for speed. Kills by gorgons would more likely have been the result of an ambush than of pursuit. However, when ambush tactics failed to provide a meal, the gorgonopsid must have followed its nose.

Speed aside, those sturdy legs would serve an ambling gorgon well. Certainly these animals were no sprinters but a trotting gorgonopsid with sabre-toothed jaws agape must have been a terrifying sight!

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Gorgon's Bite

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