Facts about Dicynodonts, an extinct prehistoric animal

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Other Prehistoric Animals   >   Dicynodonts



Click here for more Dicynodont Pictures

Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Synapsida
  Order Therapsida
  Suborder Anomodontia
  Infraorder Dicynodontia
Dicynodonts were a group of mammal-like reptiles that first appeared in the Permian period about 268 million years ago, and survived through to the Cretaceous period about 105 million years ago. Until recently it was thought that all Dicynodonts died out before the end of the the Triassic period, but recently discovered evidence suggested that they may have survived in southern Gondwana (now Australia) until the Cretaceous period.

During the late Permian period, Dicynodonts were the most successful of land vertebrates, and occupied a range of evolutiontary niches. Many species died out in the Permian-Triassic extinction, but two families survived, and they and their descendents (especially Lystrosaurs) were the most successful herbivores of the early Triassic period.

Dicynodonts vary in size from being about the size of a rat to about the size of a horse, and were all herbivores (plant-eaters). Their bodies are usually short and strong with a short tail but powerful limbs - in larger species the hind limbs are erect, but the front limbs sprawl at the elbow. Additionally, in all but the earliest forms, Dicynodonts have a horny beak.

The name "Dicynodont" was coined by Sir Richard Owen in 1859 and means "two dog teeth". It refers to the two tusks that the animals had.

Dicynodonts Timeline:

Dicynodonts were herbivorous (plant-eating) mammal-like reptiles that lived between 268 and 105 million years ago

Dicynodonts were herbivorous (plant-eating) mammal-like reptiles that lived between 268 and 105 million years ago

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