Named By: Broom & Robinson - 1948.
Classification: Chordata, Synapsida, Therapsida, Therocephalia, Lycideopidae.
Species: T. tenuis (type), T. darti.
Known locations: South Africa - Katberg Formation, Normandien Formation.
Time period: Late Permian to the Induan of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Several individuals.
Tetracynodon is a genus of therocephalian therapsid that is noted as having lived through the Permian/Triassic extinction event, something that was probably the most dramatic extinction level event recorded in our planets history, even more devastating than the extinction that killed off the dinosaurs. One thing of note is that the Permian species of Tetracynodon were slightly larger than the species that lived in the Triassic. This is probably because the extinction event that marked the end of the Permian would have greatly reduced the amount of plants and prey animals, resulting in a scarcity of food across the board. By growing smaller, less food was needed to live, and so a greater chance of survival was attained at a time that saw other animals unable to adapt to the change dying out.
- Note sur une novelle espece de Scaloposauridae. [Note on a new species of Scaloposauridae]. - Palaeontologia Africana 8:13-36. - D. Sigogneau - 1963.
- A new therocephalian from the Cistecephalus Assemblage Zone of South Africa and new information on therocephalian systematics. - Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 28 (3, suppl.): 98A–99A. - C. Kammerer - 2008.
- Reassessment of the morphology and paleobiology of the therocephalian Tetracynodon darti (Therapsida), and the phylogenetic relationships of Baurioidea. - Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 32 (5): 1113. - T. Sigurdsen, A. K. Huttenlocker - S. P. Modesto, T. B. Rowe & R. Damiani - 2012.