THE  THERAPSIDS 

— Long Before the Rise of the Dinosaurs —
The Story of the Permian Therapsids

Therapsids
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Therapsid phylogeny  —  the Family Tree
Our lineage can be traced back 300+ million years to the dank  forest floors of the Carboniferous. There, among horsetails the size of cedars, scampered our earliest ancestors.  These were the pelycosaurs. Fin backed Dimetrodon is the most famous pelycosaur.
It was also a member of a most successful family of pelycosaurian hunters — the sphenacodonts. From that clan sprang the very first therapsids.  We can trace our lineage from the pelycosaurs to mammals through a near-unbroken fossil record of therapsids.

SYNAPSIDA
|
|----Eupelycosauria (the 'pelycosaurs')
`--+----
   `--+---
      `--+--Sphenacodontia
         |
         Therapsida
         |----Biarmosuchia ('Eotitanosuchia')
         `----+------Dinocephalia
         |    |------Anteosauria
         |    `------Tapinocephalia
         `----+------Anomodontia
              |    |--------Venyukovioidea
              |    `--------Dicynodontia   
              `---------Theriodontia
                   |------Gorgonopsia
                   `--+------Therocephalia
                      `--+---Cynodontia
                         `---+----Mammalia
							   

*  The Therapsid Family Tree is based upon cladograms from the Palaeos site  –  any errors introduced are my responsibility.

Alas, Mikko Haaramo's original Therapsida Phylogeny pages disappeared but are still available on the Internet Archive.

Therapsids
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* * *

Therapsids of
the Permian