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Temporal range: Middle Permian- Early Triassic, 261–247  Ma
Thrinaxodon liorhinus.jpg
Skull and neck vertebrae of Thrinaxodon liorhinus in CosmoCaixa Barcelona
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Therapsida
Clade: Cynodontia
Clade: Epicynodontia
Family: Thrinaxodontidae
Watson and Romer, 1956

Thrinaxodontidae is an extinct family of cynodonts that includes the genera Thrinaxodon , Nanictosaurus , Nanocynodon , and Novocynodon , and possibly Bolotridon and Platycraniellus . [1] All thrinaxodontids share a bony secondary palate. Thrinaxodontids are basal members of the cynodont clade Epicynodontia. Some studies consider the family a paraphyletic group, representing an evolutionary grade of basal epicynodonts rather than an actual clade. [2]

Related Research Articles

Therapsid Clade of synapsids

Therapsida is a major group of eupelycosaurian synapsids that includes mammals and their ancestors. Many of the traits today seen as unique to mammals had their origin within early therapsids, including limbs that were oriented more underneath the body, as opposed to the sprawling posture of many reptiles and salamanders. The earliest fossil attributed to Therapsida used to be Tetraceratops insignis from the Lower Permian. However, in 2020 a study concluded that Tetraceratops is not a true therapsid, but should be considered a member of the more ancient Sphenacodontia, from which the therapsids evolved.

Cynodont Suborder of Therapsids

The cynodonts are a clade of therapsids that first appeared in the Late Permian, and extensively diversified after the Permian–Triassic extinction event. Cynodonts had a wide variety of lifestyles, including carnivory and herbivory. Mammals are cynodonts, as are their extinct ancestors and close relatives, having evolved from advanced probainognathian cynodonts during the Late Triassic. All other cynodont lines went extinct, with the last known non-mammalian cynodont group, the Tritylodontidae having its last records in the Early Cretaceous.

<i>Thrinaxodon</i> Extinct genus of cynodonts of Early Triassic South Africa

Thrinaxodon is an extinct genus of cynodonts, most commonly regarded by its species T. liorhinus which lived in what are now South Africa and Antarctica during the Early Triassic. Thrinaxodon lived just after the Permian–Triassic mass extinction event, its survival during the extinction may have been due to its burrowing habits.

Mammaliaformes Clade of mammals and extinct relatives

Mammaliaformes ("mammal-shaped") is a clade that contains the crown group mammals and their closest extinct relatives; the group radiated from earlier probainognathian cynodonts. It is defined as the clade originating from the most recent common ancestor of Morganucodonta and the crown group mammals; the latter is the clade originating with the most recent common ancestor of extant Monotremata, Marsupialia, and Placentalia. Besides Morganucodonta and the crown group mammals, Mammaliaformes includes Docodonta and Hadrocodium as well as the Triassic Tikitherium, the earliest known member of the group.

Theriodontia Clade of therapsids

The theriodonts or Theriodontia are a major group of therapsids. They can be defined in traditional, Linnaean terms, in which case they are a suborder of synapsids that lived from the Middle Permian to the Middle Cretaceous, or in cladistic terms, in which case they include not only the traditional theriodonts but also their descendants the mammals as well.

<i>Procynosuchus</i> Extinct genus of cynodonts

Procynosuchus is an extinct genus of cynodonts from the Late Permian. It is considered to be one of the earliest and most basal cynodonts. It was 60 cm (2 ft) long and seems to have been adapted to a semi-aquatic lifestyle.

Cynognathia Clade of cynodonts

Cynognathia is one of two major clades of cynodonts, the other being Probainognathia. Cynognathians included the large carnivorous genus Cynognathus and the herbivorous traversodontids. Cynognathians can be identified by several synapomorphies including a very deep zygomatic arch that extends above the middle of the orbit.

Galesauridae Extinct family of cynodonts

Galesauridae is an extinct family of cynodonts. Along with the family Thrinaxodontidae and the large clade Eucynodontia, it makes up the unranked taxon called Epicynodontia. Galesaurids first appeared in the very latest Permian period, just a million years before the greatest extinction of all time, the Permian-Triassic extinction event.

Traversodontidae Family of gomphodontian cynodonts

Traversodontidae is a family of herbivorous cynodonts. Traversodonts were primarily Gondwanan, with many species known from Africa and South America. Recently, traversodonts have also been found from Europe and eastern North America. Traversodonts first appeared in the Middle Triassic and became extinct in the Early Jurassic diversifying in the Late Triassic. The family Traversodontidae was created by Friedrich von Huene in 1936 for cynodonts first found in São Pedro do Sul in Paleorrota, Brazil.

Eutherocephalia Extinct clade of therapsids

Eutherocephalia is an infraorder of therocephalian therapsids. Eutherocephalians are distinguished from the lycosuchids and scylacosaurids, two early therocephalian families. While lycosuchids and scyalosaurids became extinct by the end of the Permian period, eutherocephalians survived the Permian–Triassic extinction event. The group eventually became extinct in the Middle Triassic.

Epicynodontia Clade of cynodonts

Epicynodontia is a clade of cynodont therapsids that includes most cynodonts, such as galesaurids, thrinaxodontids, and Eucynodontia. It was erected as a stem-based taxon by Hopson and Kitching (2001) and defined as the most inclusive clade containing Mammalia and excluding Procynosuchus, a Late Permian genus that is one of the most basal cynodonts.

<i>Theriognathus</i> Extinct genus of therapsids from late Permian South Africa and Tanzania

Theriognathus is an extinct genus of therocephalian therapsid belonging to the family Whaitsiidae, known from fossils from South Africa, Zambia, and Tanzania. Theriognathus has been dated as existing during the Late Permian. Although Theriognathus means mammal jaw, the lower jaw is actually made up of several bones as seen in modern reptiles, in contrast to mammals. Theriognathus displayed many different reptilian and mammalian characteristics. For example, Theriognathus had canine teeth like mammals, and a secondary palate, multiple bones in the mandible, and a typical reptilian jaw joint, all characteristics of reptiles. It is speculated that Theriognathus was either carnivorous or omnivorous based on its teeth, and was suited to hunting small prey in undergrowth. This synapsid adopted a sleek profile of a mammalian predator, with a narrow snout and around 1 meter long. Theriognathus is represented by 56 specimens in the fossil record.

<i>Progalesaurus</i> Extinct genus of cynodonts

Progalesaurus is an extinct genus of galesaurid cynodont from the early Triassic. Progalesaurus is known from a single fossil of the species Progalesaurus lootsbergensis, found in the Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone of the Balfour Formation. Close relatives of Progalesaurus, other galesaurids, include Galesaurus and Cynosaurus. Galesaurids appeared just before the Permian-Triassic extinction event, and disappeared from the fossil record in the Middle-Triassic.

Platycraniellus is an extinct genus of non-mammalian cynodonts. It is known from the Early Triassic Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone of the Normandien Formation of South Africa. The type and only species is P. elegans.

Gomphodontosuchinae Subfamily of traversodontid cynodonts

Gomphodontosuchinae is a subfamily of Triassic traversodontid cynodonts. It includes the genera Gomphodontosuchus, Exaeretodon, Menadon, Protuberum, Ruberodon, Scalenodontoides and Siriusgnathus.

Novocynodon is an extinct genus of thrinaxodontid cynodonts from the Middle Permian of Russia. Fossils have been found in Alexandrovsky District, Orenburg Oblast. The type and only species is Novocynodon kutorgai.

Massetognathinae Subfamily of traversodontid cynodonts

Massetognathinae is an extinct subfamily of cynodonts in the family Traversodontidae. It includes four species from the Middle and Late Triassic: Massetognathus pascuali from Argentina, Massetognathus ochagaviae and Santacruzodon hopsoni from southern Brazil, and Dadadon isaloi from Madagascar. Massetognathines have several distinguishing characteristics, including flattened skulls, small canine teeth, and postcanine teeth with three cusps on their outer edges. Massetgognathinae was defined by Kammerer et al. (2012) as the clade containing all traversodontids more closely related to Massetognathus pascuali than to Gomphodontosuchus brasiliensis, and is the sister taxon of the traversodontid subfamily Gomphodontosuchinae, which was defined by Kammerer et al. (2008) as all traverodontids more closely related to G. brasiliensis than to M. pascuali.

Gomphodontia Clade of cynognathian cynodonts

Gomphodontia is a clade of cynognathian cynodonts that includes the families Diademodontidae, Trirachodontidae, and Traversodontidae. Gomphodonts are distinguished by wide and closely spaced molar-like postcanine teeth, which are convergent with those of mammals. Other distinguishing characteristics of gomphodonts include deep zygomatic arches, upper postcanines with three or more cusps spanning their widths and lower postcanines with two cusps spanning their widths. Gomphodonts first appeared in the Early Triassic and became extinct in the Jurassic. Fossils are known from southern Africa, Argentina and southern Brazil, eastern North America, Europe, China, and Antarctica.

<i>Abdalodon</i> Extinct genus of cynodonts

Abdalodon is an extinct genus of late Permian cynodonts, known by its only species A. diastematicus.Abdalodon together with the genus Charassognathus, form the clade Charassognathidae. This clade represents the earliest known cynodonts, and is the first known radiation of Permian cynodonts.

Charassognathidae Extinct family of cynodonts

Charassognathidae is an extinct family of basal cynodonts known from the Late Permian of South Africa and Zambia. It was named in 2016 by the palaeontologist Christian F. Kammerer, who defined it as all taxa more closely related to Charassognathus gracilis than to Dvinia prima, Galesaurus planiceps or Procynosuchus delaharpeae. The family contains the genera Charassognathus, Abdalodon and Nshimbodon, with the latter two making up the subfamily Abdalodontinae.


  1. Ivakhnenko, M. F. (2012). "Permian Cynodontia (Theromorpha) of Eastern Europe". Paleontological Journal. 46 (2): 199–207. doi:10.1134/S0031030112020062.
  2. Abdala, F. (2007). "Redescription of Platycraniellus elegans (Therapsida, Cynodontia) from the Lower Triassic of South Africa, and the Cladistic Relationships of Eutheriodonts". Palaeontology. 50 (3): 591–618. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2007.00646.x.