Named By: Ivan Yefremov - 1938.
Classification: Chordata, Synapsida, Therapsida, Dinocephalia, Anteosauridae.
Species: T. potens (type), T, adamanteus.
Size: Up to 5 meters long, skull 80 centimetres long.
Known locations: Russia, Isheevo.
Time period: Late Permian.
Fossil representation: 3 Specimens.
name Titanophoneus, 'Titanic murderer’ is sometimes
hailed as being
misleading when you compare it to later carnivores like Tyrannosaurus.
However such a claim is itself a bit of a misnomer as what you have to
realise is that Titanophoneus is a strong contender
for being one of
the largest predators of its day. At up to five meters long
Titanophoneus would have been able to tackle almost
any of the
herbivores in the region with only the largest being potentially ‘safe’.
Titanophoneus is envisioned as having a sprawling stance, which means that the legs spread out to the sides instead of supporting the body weight from underneath. This may in turn suggest that Titanophoneus used ambush tactics instead of running down its prey of extended distances.
The large canine teeth of Titanophoneus would have likely been used to deliver a crippling bite to an area such as the neck or spine of its prey. Once delivered, all Titanophoneus would have to do is wait for it prey to collapse, a smart strategy when you consider that even herbivores had fierce looking teeth for dealing with the tough plants of the Permian.
Titanophoneus is thought to have descended from the Biarmosuchus line, also from Russia, which is thought to be a link between therapsids and sphenacodonts.