Named By: Harry Govier Seeley - 1908.
Classification: Chordata, Synapsida, Therapsida, Dicynodontia, Kannemeyeriidae.
Species: K. argentinensis, K. erithrea, K. latifrons, K. simocephala, K. simocephalica, K. vanhoepeni.
Size: 3 meters long.
Known locations: Africa, Asia, India, South America.
Time period: Olenekian to Anisian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Many specimens known.
incredibly broad range of Kannemeyeria fossils
indicates that it
probably had a worldwide distribution, especially across the southern
continents. It is unknown how far north the full extent of
Kannemeyeria was, but other similar dicynodonts
such as Placerias
known from North America.
Kannemeyeria is what you might call a typical large dicynodont in that it possessed a cropping beak for snipping vegetation as well as two downwards pointing tusks that may have been used for digging up roots and tubers. Kannemeyeria was towards the larger end of the dicynodont size scale, a size that was required to house the extensive digestive system that was required to process plant material. To support this weight and bulk the limb girdles was well developed to allow Kannemeyeria to browse the Triassic plains at a slow but stable gait.
The skull of Kannemeyeria has large fenestral openings that not only would have significantly reduced the weight of the skull. There are also areas for strong muscle attachment, something that would have provided the beak of Kannemeyeria the ability to shear through the toughest plant material.
Despite the large size, Kannemeyeria may have been prey to large thecodonts like Erythrosuchus.
- The Skull of the Dicynodont Reptile Kannemeyeria. - Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London - Vol 94, Issue 3, pages 793–826 - Helga S. Pearson M.Sc., F.Z.S - 1924.