Name: Raranimus ‭(‬Rare spirit‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ra-ran-e-mus.
Named By: J.‭ ‬Liu,‭ ‬B.‭ ‬Rubidge‭ & ‬J.‭ ‬Li‭ ‬-‭ ‬2009.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Synapsida,‭ ‬Therapsida.
Species: R.‭ ‬dashankouensis‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Uncertain due to lack of remains,‭ ‬but comparison to the skulls of other therapsids suggest somewhere around‭ ‬20‭ ‬centimetres for the skull.
Known locations: China,‭ ‬Gansu Province‭ ‬-‭ ‬Xidagou Formation.
Time period: Roadian of the Permian.
Fossil representation: Partial anterior‭ (‬forward‭) ‬portion of the snout.

       Though only known from the forward half of a skull,‭ ‬Raranimus was still a very exciting discovery,‭ ‬as not only is Raranimus one of it not the oldest therapsids known,‭ ‬it appears to be a transitional form that links therapsids with earlier sphenacodont pelycosaurs‭ (‬i.e.‭ ‬Sphenacodon,‭ ‬Dimetrodon,‭ ‬Secodontosaurus,‭ ‬etc‭)‬.‭ ‬At the time of writing the only genus that could possibly challenge the idea that Raranimus as the most primitive known therapsid,‭ ‬is‭ ‬Tetraceratops.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬there is no clear definition as to what Tetraceratops was,‭ ‬whether as a primitive therapsid or an actual pelycosaur.

Further reading
-‭ ‬New basal synapsid supports Laurasian origin for therapsids.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Acta Palaeontologica Polonica‭ ‬54‭(‬3‭)‬:393-400.‭ ‬-‭ ‬J.‭ ‬Liu,‭ ‬B.‭ ‬Rubidge‭ & ‬J.‭ ‬Li‭ ‬-‭ ‬2009.


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