Jonkeria

Name: Jonkeria ‭(‬From Jonkers‭)‬.
Phonetic: Yon-keh-ree-ah.
Named By: Van Hoepan‭ ‬-‭ ‬1916.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Synapsida,‭ ‬Therapsida,‭ ‬Dinocephalia,‭ ‬Tapinocephalia,‭ ‬Titanosuchidae.
Species: J.‭ ‬truculenta‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬boonstrai,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬haughtoni,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬ingens,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬koupensis,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬parva,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬rossouwi,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬vanderbyli.
Type: Usually depicted as a herbivore,‭ ‬some have envisioned it as a carnivore.
Size: Usually around‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long,‭ ‬some specimens are up to‭ ‬5‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: South Africa‭ ‬-‭ ‬Karoo.
Time period: Mid Permian.
Fossil representation: Many individual fossils.

       Although related to Titanosuchus,‭ ‬Jonkeria appears to be at the other end of the spectrum by being envisioned as an herbivore.‭ ‬However the similarity to Titanosuchus has led some to suggest that Jonkeria may actually be a carnivore,‭ ‬with the most obvious difference between the two being Jonkeria‭ ‬having shorter legs.
       Aside from having a similar morphology to Titanosuchus,‭ ‬the main anti herbivore argument for Jonkeria comes from the presence of large incisor and canine teeth.‭ ‬Aside from indicating a lineage to carnivorous ancestors,‭ ‬these teeth were capable of making short work of flesh.‭ ‬One possibility is that Jonkeria was actually omnivorous and used its size to not only kill large herbivores but to dominate the smaller carnivores,‭ ‬stealing their kills.‭ ‬Such behaviour can be seen in modern day bears which are opportunistic omnivores,‭ ‬killing their own prey,‭ ‬stealing the prey of other carnivores like wolves,‭ ‬and eating suitable plants when able.‭ ‬If the analogy is true,‭ ‬then Jonkeria would have been feared by everything.
       Jonkeria once had a large number of species attributed to it,‭ ‬but re-examination of the remains has found that many of‭ ‬these species were already described under different Jonkeria species names.‭ ‬Many of the species listed above may yet also prove synonymous with the type species J.‭ ‬truculenta among others.

Further reading
- The Fauna of the Tapincephalus Zone (Beaufort Beds of the Karoo). - Annals South African Museum 56(1) 1-73 p35-38 - 1969.



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