The Therapsids

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On the Prowl  —  the Larger Therocephalian Hunters

Big therocephalian predators would have focused on large prey but, like their gorgonopsid rivals, wouldn't have been adverse to an easy snack. Pristerognathus' latest kill, little Kingoria ( Kingori, Tanzania 13cm skull), was a rare dicynodont built for speed – revealed by this animal's  more upright  hindleg stance for extra motive power.  Alas, for poor Kingoria, being fleet-footed  just wasn't enough this time!

The feeding dicynodonts are 200 kg Aulacephalodon ( 'furrow head' 20cm skull).  Aulacephalodon's head, which was ugly even by dicy- nodont standards, was half-again wider than it was long. Larger still was Endothiodon ( 'found in sulphur' - 38cm-50cm skull )  –  another tuskless, toothed dicynodont.  Endothiodon probably fed  by using its lower beak to rake up low-growing plant material from the ground.

Pristerognathus vanderbyli
Pristerognathus is considered to be a 'primitive' therocephalian. It was once thought that early therocephalians had four upper canine teeth but, it is now known, that the fossil animal was in the process of replacing its old canines.

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Therapsid Hunters
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