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Author's note: these pages were written some years ago. I am not planning to update them. For a more current coverage, see the link to palaeos com Palaeos website (to which many links on these pages point to anyway. More info here


Styracocephalidae


In this family a number of imperfect skulls are known to constitute a family of small advanced herbivorous dinocephalians with the retention of a moderate canine. Characteristic are the prominent posteriorly directed tabular bosses. Weak conical incisors and canine and a long series of postcanines; the palatal teeth are very well developed, even on the vomer. All known forms constitute a single species, Styracocephalus platyrhynchus Haughton 1929, from the Tapinocephalus Zone Beaufort Beds, Beaufort West, Karoo, South Africa. These animals are similiar to both the Brithopodids and the Estemmenosuchids, and may have evolved from either family.


Ecological niche: large to very semi-aquatic to terrestrial herbivores
Modern equivalent: hippo???
Time: middle Permian ( link to palaeos com Wordian epoch)
Distribution: although so far fossil remains are known only from eastern Russia it is likely these animals had a much wider, probably worldwide ( link to palaeos com Pangea) distribution
preferred food: plants
length: about 4.5 meters
weight: upto 500 kg
Metabolism: partially endothermic? gigantotherms (Homeotherms)
Predators: Brithopodids
Ancestor: herbivorous Brithopodids or Estemmenosuchids?
Replaced: Estemmenosuchids
Replaced by: Large Dicynodonts and Pareiasaurs???
Descendents: hypothetical Wordian proto-Styracocephalids gave rise to hypothetical Wordian proto-Titanosuchids
Taxonomic status - Family


some printed references some Links and References Web links

printed referenceL. D. Boonstra, "The Fauna of the Tapinocephalus Zone (Beaufort Beds of the Karoo)", Annals of the South African Museum, 56 (1) 1969, pp. 1-73

printed referenceGillian M. King, "Anomodontia" Part 17 C, Encyclopedia of Paleoherpetology, Gutsav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart and New York, 1988


Therapsida main page
link to palaeos com Permian Period Therapsida Dinocephalia




link to palaeos com Palaeos link to palaeos com Palaeos Page (incorporates some of this material, plus a lot of additional material)




Kheper index page
Palaeo index page
Therapsida main page





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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 9 August 2000. Reposted and last modified 1 September 2005, links updated 16 January 2010