File:Archaeosyodon praeventor.jpg

Titanosuchidae is a family of carnivorous to omnivorous (herbivorous?) tapinocephalid dinocephalians. As with other tapinocephalids, they had thick-skulls probably for head-butting. They appeared in the Middle Permian. They had large canine teeth, and their incisors were very strong. Titanosuchids are related to other dinocephalians, such as the tapinocephalidae - a group that includes Moschops. The most famous titanosuchids are Jonkeria and Titanosuchus. Like all other dinocephalians, they went extinct in the Permian-Triassic extinction.



Titanosuchus ferox

Titanosuchus ferox.

Titanosuchus ferox ("Fierce Titan crocodile") was a dinocephalian therapsid that lived in the Mid Permian epoch in South Africa. Along with its close relatives, Jonkeria and Moschops, Titanosuchus inhabited present-day South Africa around 255 million years ago, in the Late Permian. Titanosuchus was a carnivore and might have eaten both Jonkeria and Moschops, among other vertebrates. Its teeth included sharp incisors and fang-like canines, perfect for biting prey. Titanosuchus rivals that to Titanophoneus, which is also a carnivore and a dinocephalian, but it lived only in Russia. Titanosuchus should not be confused with the therapsid Eotitanosuchus, which belonged to a different family.


Jonkeria (Van Hoepen, 1916) was a very large herbivorous (although sometimes thought to be carnivorous - e.g. Colbert 1969 p. 136) dinocephalian, from the Tapinocephalus Assemblage Zone, Lower Beaufort Group, of the South African Karroo. The overall length was three and a half meters or more (up to 4 or 5 meters), the skull about 55 cm long. The skull is nearly twice as long as wide, and the snout is elongated and provided with sharp incisors and large canines. The cheek teeth were rather small. The body is robustly built, and the limbs stout. According to Boonstra 1969 p. 38, Jonkeria cannot be distinguished from its relative Titanosuchus on cranial grounds, but only in limb length; Jonkeria having short and squat limbs, and Titanosuchus long ones. About a dozen species have been named, including the type species, J. truculenta. At least some of the other species were synonymised by Boonstra 1969. There has been no recent review of the genus.


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