The Therapsids

Therapsids of
the Permian

The animals featured in illustrations accompanying The Therapsids narrative are listed below. Each therapsid genus/species name* is arranged alphabetically within its larger family group.


Early Therapsids
Tetraceratops insignis
Phthinosuchus horissiaki  (Eotitan.?)

Eotitanosuchids  —  'Dawn Therapsids'
Biarmosuchus tener
Eotitanosuchus olseni

Dinocephalians  —  the 'Horrible Heads'
Anteosaurus magnificus
Estemmenosuchus mirabilis
Estemmenosuchus uralensis
Titanophoneus potens
Ulemosaurus svijagensis
Phthinosuchus horissiaki

Dinocephalians (cont. – Tapinocephalia)
Jonkeria truculenta
Moschop capensis
Styracocephalus platyrhyncus
Struthiocephalus kitchingi
Tapinocaninus pamelae
Tapinocephalus atherstonei

Gorgonopsia  —  Sabre-Toothed Killers
Arctognathus curvimola
Eoarctops vanderbyli
Galesuchus gracilis
Hipposaurus seelyi [note: this placement
   of Hipposaurus is contentious]

Gorgonopsia (cont.)
Inostrancevia alexandri
Leontocephalus intactus
Lycaenops ornatus
Sauroctonus progressus
Scylacops bigens

Dicynodontia  —  the 'Two-Tuskers'
Aulacephalodon baini
Chelydontops altidentalis
Cistecephalus microrhinus
Dicynodon trautscholdi
Dicynodon trigonocephalus
Diictodon tienshanensis

Dicynodontia (cont.)
Endothiodon bathystoma
Kingoria nowacki
Lystrosaurus declivis
Oudenodon baini
Pristerodon mckayi
Robertia broomiana

Therocephalia  —  the 'Beast Heads'
Euchambersia mirabilis
Moschorhinus kitchingi
Pristerognathus vanderbyli

Cynodontia  —  the 'Dog Teeth'
Dvinia prima
Galesaurus planiceps
Procynosuchus delaharpeae



Synapsids  —  Therapsid Ancestors
Dimetrodon grandis    (pelycosaur)
Dimetrodon limbatus  (pelycosaur)
Ennatosaurus tecton   (caseid)

Para-Reptiles  —  the Pareiasaurs
Bradysaurus boonstrai
Shihtienfenia permica
Pareiasuchus nasicornis


Page titles for The Therapsids story are listed below in order.

Therapsids of the Permian
Ancestors of the Mammals
Therapsid Ancestors
Pelycosaurian  Predecessors
The First Therapsids
Descendants of the Pelycosaurs
Eotitanosuchids —  the 'Dawn Therapsids' of Tropical Russia
The Dinocephalia – Enter New
 Players:  the  'Horrible  Heads'
'Living Large' —  the
Dinocephalians Waddle Forth
The Super-continent Pangea
One Big Dinocephalian World
"... gnashing of teeth" – and the
Working of Dinocephalian Jaws
'Just Browsing, Thanks'
The Low-Down Tapinocephalia
'Bone Heads' — How to Behave
Just  Like a  Big  Dinocephalian
Rivals & Relatives –  Living in a
Dinocephalian-Dominated World
Gorgonopsid Gnashers —  the
Gorgon's  Sabre–Toothed  Bite
Gorgonopsid Sense of Smell
Turbinals  or  the Nose Knows
'It Slices, It Dices' – Two-Tusk
 Dicynodont  Eating  Machines
Therocephalians — Newcomers:
the Beast Heads  from the North
On the Prowl — Rivals: the new
Large Therocephalian Predators
Hunters Spanning the Globe
'Dog Teeth' —  the Cynodont
Ancestors of Modern Mammals
Pangean End Game — the End-
Permian  Mass Extinction Event
Therapsid Links —  Paleo-Art
& Further Reading on the Web

*  Scientific Nomenclature  –  a Number of Notes About Names
Not all genus/species names describe the animal itself. A name may be descriptive of the condition of the fossil when found, or of its position in the rock strata, or of its geographical location.

Fossils are often named after their discoverer, or a colleague, or some other person — especially with therapsid species names.

Many therapsid names end in -saurus ('reptile', more properly, 'lizard') or end in -suchus ('crocodile'). Therapsids, of course, are not closely related to either lizards or to crocodiles.

Such names are largely accidents of history and do not reflect modern thinking on phylogeny.  Earlier paleontologists used both  -saurus and  -suchus endings to mean simply 'reptile'.

Although once described as 'mammal-like reptile', therapsids are not derived from reptiles. Nor were the earlier pelycosaurs who probably emerged as a distinct group before true reptiles.

But, scientific names aren't changed to keep up with the trends. It is important to remember that phylogeny is just another tool. In contrast with the fossils, phylogeny isn't written in stone!


The Therapsids
of the Permian

The Therapsids