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Dicynodon

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Dicynodont giant Poland by Theropsida
Dicynodon ("Two Dog-teeth") is a type of dicynodont therapsid that flourished during the Late Permian period. Like all dicynodonts, it was herbivorous. 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.

Many species of Dicynodon have been named, and the genus is considered a wastebasket taxon. A 2011 study of the genus found most of the species to represent a paraphyletic grouping, with the only valid members of Dicynodon being D. lacerticeps and D. huenei.[1]

Description

Dicynodon was a medium sized and advanced member of the Dicynodont group. It had an average length of 1.2 metres (3.9 ft), although size differed among species. Its fossil remains have been found in sediments of latest Permian age in South Africa and Tanzania. 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.

Species

Two species of Dicynodon are currently recognized: the type species D. lacerticeps from South Africa and the species D. huenei from Tanzania. Since the genus was first named, over 160 species have been assigned to Dicynodon. A 2011 study of the genus found 11 of these species to be valid, although most are now assigned to other dicynodont genera.[1] Below is a list of all species that have ever been assigned to Dicynodon. Since their naming, most have been considered as synonymous with other dicynodont species. Names in bold are still referable to Dicynodon.

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