(Three cusped teeth).
Named By: Richard Owen - 1884.
Classification: Chordata, Synapsida, Therapsida, Cynodontia, Tritylodontidae.
Species: T. longaevus (type), T. maximus.
Size: About 30 centimetres long.
Known locations: South Africa - Elliot Formation. Lesotho - Elliot Formation.
Time period: Norian of the Triassic to the Hettangian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Several individuals.
far as cynodonts go Tritylodon was fairly
unremarkable and very similar
to the generic form of other cynodonts. Tritylodon
had a round body
and short limbs, adaptations for a burrowing lifestyle. Furthermore
Tritylodon is noted for having enlarged incisor
teeth which still would
have been partly visible when the mouth was closed, and like relative
tritylodontid genera, Tritylodon is thought to
have been herbivorous.
At the time of writing Tritylodon is only known from South Africa and Lesotho. At least one specimen of Tritylodon is known from the Lower Elliot Formation, placing the earliest appearance of the genus in the late Triassic, while most of the known specimens of Tritylodon are currently known from the Upper Elliot Formation which suggests that the genus became far more widespread during the early Jurassic. Additional remains possibly from the Sinemurian and Pliensbachian further show that as a genus Tritylodon was quite successful.
- On the skull and dentition of a Triassic mammal (Tritylodon longævus, Owen) from South Africa. - Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society 40:146-152. - Ricahrd Owen - 1884.
- Sedimentology and vertebrate taphonomy of the Tritylodon Acme Zone: A reworked palaeosol in the Lower Jurassic Elliot Formation, Karoo Supergroup, South Africa. - Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 131: 29–50. - R. Smith & J. Kitching - 1997.