Clelandina

Name: Clelandina.
Phonetic: Cle-lan-de-nah.
Named By: Robert Broom‭ ‬-‭ ‬1948.
Synonyms: Dracocephalus scheepersi.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Synapsida,‭ ‬Therapsida,‭ ‬Gorgonopsia.
Species: C.‭ ‬rubidgei‭ (‬type‭?)‬,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬majora,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬maximus,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬scheepersi.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Skull of C.‭ ‬scheepersi‭ ‬19‭ ‬centimetres long,‭ ‬skull of C.‭ ‬rubidgei about‭ ‬21‭ ‬centimetres long.‭ ‬Body length estimated to be around the‭ ‬1‭ ‬meter mark.
Known locations: South Africa.
Time period: Wuchiapingian of the Permian.
Fossil representation: Skulls,‭ ‬though often compressed during fossilisation.

       Although often compressed,‭ ‬and incomplete,‭ ‬Clelandina skulls have been noted as being particularly broad while having short snouts.‭ ‬These are two significant developments that may indicate that Clelandina had a particularly strong bite force.‭ ‬A wider skull would allow for greater room for larger‭ (‬and hence more powerful‭) ‬jaw closing muscles,‭ ‬while the short snout meant that food was nearer the point of jaw articulation‭ (‬the fulcrum of the jaw mechanism‭) ‬that allowed force to be focused upon whatever was in the mouth.‭ ‬A strong bite force suggest a preference for hunting prey that had particularly tough hides.‭ ‬It may also be that Clelandina‭ ‬had a greater disposition towards scavenging and having to process body parts like bones,‭ ‬though the dentition of sharp conical teeth around the front of the mouth does not support a scavenging lifestyle.‭
       Another genus of gorgonopsid,‭ ‬Broomicephalus,‭ ‬might be synonymous with Clelandina.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A contribution to our knowledge of the vertebrates of the Karroo beds of south Africa‭ ‬-‭ ‬Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh,‭ ‬v.‭ ‬61,‭ ‬part‭ ‬2,‭ ‬n.‭ ‬21,‭ ‬p.‭ ‬577-629.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Robert Broom‭ ‬-‭ ‬1948.
-‭ ‬Studies on new specimens of Gorgonopsia:‭ ‬-‭ ‬Palaeontographica africana,‭ ‬v.‭ ‬1,‭ ‬p.‭ ‬1-28.‭ ‬-‭ ‬A.‭ ‬S.‭ ‬Brink‭ & ‬J.‭ ‬W.‭ ‬Kitching‭ ‬-‭ ‬1953.



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