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Dicynodon ("Two Dog-teeth") is a type of herbivorous mammal-like reptile that flourished during the Permian Period. This animal was toothless, except for prominent tusks, hence the name. It probably cropped vegetation with a horny beak, much like a tortoise, while the tusks may have been used for digging up roots and tubers.

Dicynodon was a medium sized and advanced member of the Dicynodont group. It had an average length of , although size differed among species. Its fossil remains have been found in sediments of latest Permian age in South Africa, Tanzania, Russia, and China.
Dicynodon trigonocephalus
Dicynodon sp. head.
Dicynodon trautsholdi
The type species is Dicynodon lacerticeps Owen, 1845. A large number of species have since been placed in this genus, some of which turned out to be synonyms of other species, others have been moved to different genera.

A large species Dicynodon trautscholdi, has been found at Sokolki on the Northern Dvina River near Kotlasmarker in Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. It lived during the latest Permian, and was a contemporary of Inostrancevia, Scutosaurus and Dvinia. Like all members of the genus, this animal was toothless, except for prominent tusks, and probably cropped vegetaion with a horny beak, like a tortoise.

The contemporary species Dicynodon amalitzkii Sushkin, 1926 is closely related (Angielczyk and Kurkin 2003a, 2003b), although according to Lucas 2005, Dicynodon trautscholdi, Dicynodon amalitzkii, Elph borealis, and Vivaxosaurus permirus are all synonyms, which makes D. amalitzkii the junior synonym of D. trautscholdi. Other suggested synonyms are Gordonia annae Amalitskii, 1922, Oudenodon venyokovi Amalitskii, 1922, and Dicynodon annae (Amalitskii, 1922).

Dicynodon may be the ancestor of the Triassic genus Kannemeyeria, and hence of most of the Triassic dicynodonts.

References

  • Kenneth D. Angielczyk and Andrey A. Kurkin, Phylogenetic analysis of Russian Permian dicynodonts (Therapsida: Anomodontia): implications for Permian biostratigraphy and Pangaean biogeography, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society Volume 139 Issue 2 pp.157−212 October 2003
  • Lucas, S. G., 2005, Dicynodon (Reptilia: Therapsida) from the Upper Permian of Russia: biochronologic significance: In: The Nonmarine Permian; edited by Lucas, S. G., and Zeigler, K. E., New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, Bulletin 30, p. 192-196.


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