Moschorhinus

Name: Moschorhinus ‭(‬Calf nose‭)‬.
Phonetic: Moss-ko-ry-nus.
Named By: Robert Broom‭ ‬-‭ ‬1920.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Synapsida,‭ ‬Therapsida,‭ ‬Therocephalia,‭ ‬Akidnognathidae.
Species: M.‭ ‬kitchingi‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Skull size for specimens in the Permian up to about‭ ‬20.7‭ ‬centimetres.‭ ‬Skull size of specimens in the early Triassic up to about‭ ‬17.9‭ ‬centimetres long.
Known locations: South Africa‭ ‬-‭ ‬Katberg Formation,‭ ‬Normandien Formation.
Time period: Induan of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Partial remains of a few individuals.

       Moschorhinus is an interesting genus of therocephalian therapsid as the genus developed cranial features that were very similar to gorgonopsid therapsids,‭ ‬even though it was not a direct relative of them.‭ ‬Like the gorgonopsids,‭ ‬Moschorhinus was a key predator of the time,‭ ‬hunting medium to large herbivorous animals.‭ ‬The main killing weapons used by Moschorhinus would have been the two enlarged canine teeth in the upper jaw that pointed down similar to the sabre-teeth of sabre-toothed cats some two hundred and fifty million years later.
       Moschorhinus fossils are so far known from the end of the Permian and the early Triassic,‭ ‬showing us that the Moschorhinus genus lived through the Permian/Triassic Extinction event,‭ ‬the most devastating extinction event to ever hit the planet.‭ ‬However while we know that as a genus Moschorhinus survived this event,‭ ‬we also know that the genus had to adapt to‭ ‬do so.‭ ‬We know this because the‭ ‬skulls of Moschorhinus that lived after the extinction event are approximately‭ ‬14%‭ ‬smaller than Moschorhinus that lived in the Permian before the extinction event.‭ ‬This tells us that with reduced numbers of plant eating animals to hunt,‭ ‬Moschorhinus grew smaller so that it would not have to eat so much in order to survive.‭ ‬This reducing in size is what naturalists refer to as the‭ ‘‬lilliput effect‭’‬.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Body size and growth patterns in the therocephalian Moschorhinus kitchingi‭ (‬Therapsida:‭ ‬Eutheriodontia‭) ‬before and after the end-Permian extinction in South Africa.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Paleobiology‭ ‬-‭ ‬Adam K.‭ ‬Huttenlocker‭ & ‬Jennifer Botha-Brink‭ ‬-‭ ‬2013.



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