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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: Synapsida
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 , and Nanocynodon , and possibly Bolotridon , Novocynodon 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]

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Therapsid</span> Clade of synapsids

Therapsida is a major group of eupelycosaurian synapsids that includes mammals, their ancestors and relatives. 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cynodont</span> Clade of therapsids

The cynodonts are a clade of eutheriodont 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 youngest records in the Early Cretaceous.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chiniquodontidae</span> Extinct family of cynodonts

Chiniquodontidae is an extinct family of basal probainognathian cynodonts that lived in what is now Africa and South America during the Middle and Late Triassic. It is currently thought to include two valid genera: Aleodon and Chiniquodon. Two additional genera are usually regarded as junior synonyms of Chiniquodon.

<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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mammaliaformes</span> 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Theriodontia</span> Clade of therapsids

The theriodonts are a major group of therapsids which appeared during the Middle Permian and which includes the gorgonopsians and the eutheriodonts, itself including the therocephalians and the cynodonts.

<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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cynognathia</span> 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Traversodontidae</span> Extinct family of cynodonts

Traversodontidae is an extinct 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 diversified in the Late Triassic before going extinct at the end of the epoch. The family Traversodontidae was erected by Friedrich von Huene in 1936 for cynodonts first found in São Pedro do Sul in Paleorrota, Brazil.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eutherocephalia</span> Extinct clade of therapsids

Eutherocephalia is an extinct clade of advanced 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Epicynodontia</span> 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>Brasilodon</i> Extinct genus of mammaliamorphs

Brasilodon is an extinct genus of small, mammal-like cynodonts that lived in what is now Brazil during the Norian age of the Late Triassic epoch, about 225.42 million years ago. While no complete skeletons have been found, the length of Brasilodon has been estimated at around 12 centimetres (4.7 in). Its dentition shows that it was most likely an insectivore. The genus is monotypic, containing only the species B. quadrangularis. Brasilodon belongs to the family Brasilodontidae, whose members were some of the closest relatives of mammals, the only cynodonts alive today. Two other brasilodontid genera, Brasilitherium and Minicynodon, most likely represent junior synonyms of Brasilodon.

<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.

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

Lumkuia is an extinct genus of cynodonts, fossils of which have been found in the Cynognathus Assemblage Zone of the Beaufort Group in the South African Karoo Basin that date back to the early Middle Triassic. It contains a single species, Lumkuia fuzzi, which was named in 2001 on the basis of the holotype specimen BP/1/2669, which can now be found at the Bernard Price Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa. The genus has been placed in its own family, Lumkuiidae. Lumkuia is not as common as other cynodonts from the same locality such as Diademodon and Trirachodon.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Massetognathinae</span> 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gomphodontia</span> Clade of 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 at the end of the Late Triassic. 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charassognathidae</span> 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.