Named By: Z. Cheng & S. Ji - 1996.
Synonyms: Stenocybus acidentatus?
Classification: Chordata, Synapsida, Therapsida, Dinocephalia, Anteosauridae, Anteosaurinae.
Species: S. yumenensis (type).
Size: Skull about 35 centimetres long, total body length about 2 meters long.
Known locations: China - Xidagou Formation.
Time period: Wordian/Capitanian of the Permian.
Fossil representation: Partial skull.
Sinophoneus would have been one of the most dangerous predators in the mid Permian of China, something that has earned the genus its name which means ‘Chinese murderer’. The type species of Sinophoneus was based upon the description of a partial skull, not surprising when you consider that dinocephalian therapsids like Sinophoneus are commonly represented by just skulls. There is speculation however that another genus named Stenocybus acidentatus may actually represent a juvenile Sinophoneus. Both are known from partial skulls from the same fossil formation, and at the very least they are similar to one another.
- First Record of a Primitive Anteosaurid Dinocephalian from the Upper Permian of Gansu, China. - Vertebrata PalAsiatica 34(2):123-134. - Z. Cheng & S. Ji - 1996.
- Systematics of the Anteosauria (Therapsida: Dinocephalia). - Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 9 (2). doi:10.1080/14772019.2010.492645. - C. F. Kammerer - 2011.