Anteosaurus

Name: Anteosaurus ‭(‬Early lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ant-ay-oh-sore-us.
Named By: Watson‭ ‬-‭ ‬1921.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Synapsida,‭ ‬Therapsida,‭ ‬Dinocephalia,‭ ‬Anteosauroidia,‭ ‬Anteosauridae.
Species: A.‭ ‬magnificus‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Type: Carnivore.
Size: ‬Skull‭ ‬80‭ ‬centimetres long. Body length estimated about 5 meters long, possibly larger.
Known locations: South Africa.
Time period: Capitanian of the Permian.
Fossil representation: Lots of skulls and some partial post cranial remains.

       Despite its massive size and teeth,‭ ‬the overall body of Anteosaurus was quite weak,‭ ‬leading to the suggestion that Anteosaurus was at least semi‭ ‬aquatic in its hunting like a crocodile.‭ ‬This means that Anteosaurus was likely an ambush hunter waiting for its prey to come towards it before attacking with overwhelming strength and ferocity.
       Anteosaurus like other related therapsids had a thickened skull,‭ ‬and this has been suggested as an adaptation for head butting,‭ ‬or perhaps more aptly for head pushing.‭ ‬Also like with Moschops,‭ ‬the overall build seems to have been for projecting its body weight forwards.‭ ‬Not only could this have been useful in dominance head pushing contests,‭ ‬but it may have also been a technique to knock over unsuspecting or weakened prey.
       Anteosaurus was once known by a large number of species,‭ ‬but the current thinking on this is that they merely represent different growth stages of the same type species,‭ ‬A.‭ ‬magnificans.

Further reading
- The Bases of Classification of the Theriodontia: Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1921, p. 35-98. - D. M. S. Watson - 1921.
- Evolutionary Patterns in the History of Permo-Triassic and Cenozoic synapsid predators. - Paleontological Society Papers 8: 267–288. - Blaire van Valkenburgh & Ian Jenkins - 2002.



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