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Temporal range: Late Triassic, 231.4Ma
Ischigualastia skeleton.jpg
Mounted skeleton of Ischigualastia jenseni
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Synapsida
Order: Therapsida
Suborder: Anomodontia
Infraorder: Dicynodontia
Family: Stahleckeriidae
Genus: Ischigualastia
Cox, 1962

Ischigualastia was a dicynodont (a group of mammal-like reptiles) that lived during the Carnian age of the Late Triassic Period. From the Ischigualasto Formation of Argentina, it was a member of the family Stahleckeriidae.[1]


An enormous dicynodont, with a short, high skull, and lacking tusks.[2] It is regarded as larger than its later, more famous relative Placerias, which was up to 3.5 meters long (11.5 ft) and weighed one to two tonnes (1.1 to 2.2 short tons).

Life restoration of I. jenseni
Size of I. jenseni relative to a human


It was a large quadrupedal herbivore, most common at the base of the Ischigualasto Formation. It was a common member of the local fauna, although not as abundant as the medium-sized herbivores Scaphonyx and Exaeretodon. The only danger to such a huge animal was the almost equally large carnivorous pseudosuchian Saurosuchus. It is likely that pressure from this predator pushed Ischigualastia into extinction, for it becomes less common and finally disappears in the higher levels of the Ischigualasto Formation. A somewhat smaller relative or descendant, Placerias, survived in Laurasia.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Carroll, Robert L. (1988). Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution. W.H. Freeman and Company. ISBN 0-7167-1822-7. 
  2. ^ a b Kazlev, M.A., White, A.T. (2004-02-01). "Therapsida: Neotherapsida: Dicynodontia". Palaeos. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 

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