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Diictodon feliceps

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Diictodon feliceps
Diictodon feliceps is the name of an extinct species of therapsids, a group of animals that shared characteristics of both reptiles and mammals and that lived during the Permian period, approximately 260 million years ago. This particular species belonged to a subgroup of therapsids known as dicynodonts, which were characterized by having turtle-like beaks and teeth specialized for crushing plants.

The name "Diictodon" means "double tooth", referring to the two spade-shaped fangs it had in the front of its mouth. These tusks were ideal for uprooting and crushing plants, suggesting that Diictodon feliceps was primarily herbivorous. In addition to its peculiar dentition, this animal was also distinguished by its large skull in relation to its body and its general appearance similar to that of a small reptile with characteristics reminiscent of current armadillos or anteaters.

Diictodon feliceps was a relatively small animal, with a length of approximately 50 centimeters. It lived in what we now know as Southern Africa and is an important example of the late Permian fauna. During this time, dicynodonts were one of the dominant groups of herbivores on Earth, and contributed to the development of biodiversity that would eventually give rise to mammals.

As the Permian came to an end and gave way to the Triassic period, Diictodon feliceps and other dicynodonts became extinct, making room for new forms of life. Their legacy, however, lives on in the fossil records, allowing scientists to study and better understand the evolution of animals throughout Earth's history.

Approximate measurements of the Base:
  • Scale 1:5 - 125mm