Named By: Richard Owen - 1876.
Synonyms: Phocosaurus, Tapinocephalus atherstonii, Taurops.
Classification: Chordata, Synapsida,Therapsida, Dinocephalia, Tapinocephalidae.
Species: T. atherstonei (type).
Size: About 3 meters long, maybe slightly larger.
Known locations: South Africa, Karoo - Lower Beaufort Beds.
Time period: Capitanian of the Permian.
Fossil representation: Numerous skulls and post cranial remains from many individuals.
Fossils of the dinocephalian genus Tapinocephalus are fairly common within the Lower Beaufort Beds, that the location where fossils of the genus are known is actually called the Tapinocephalus Assemblage Zone. Tapinocephalus seems to have been a successful genus of Tapinocephalus given the large number of remains, and superficially the genus resembles Moschops. In fact Moschops is known from the same formation as Tapinocephalus. Other dinocephalians from the same location as Tapinocephalus include Titanosuchus, Styracocephalus, Jonkeria and Anteosaurus amongst many others. Other kinds of animals include the biarmosuchians Hipposaurus and Bullacephalus, the gorgonosid Eoarctops, and the parareptile Eunotosaurus.
- Evidences of Theriodonts in Permian Deposits elsewhere than in South Africa. - Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London, v. 32, p. 352-363. Richard Owen - 1876.
- The skull of Tapinocephalus and its near relatives. - Annals of the South African Museum, 43 Part 3 pp. 137-169, 17 figs, plate 4. - L. D. Boonstra - 1956.