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Temporal range: Early Permian Artinskian–Kungurian
Ctenospondylus BW.jpg
Ctenospondylus casei from the Early Permian of North America
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Synapsida
Order: Pelycosauria
Family: Sphenacodontidae
Genus: Ctenospondylus
  • C. casei
  • C. ninevehensis

Ctenospondylus, ("comb vertebra") was a pelycosaur that was about 3 meters (10 feet) long. It is known only from the 'Seymouran' Land Vertebrate Faunachron, which is equivalent to the upper part of the Artinskian stage and the lowermost Kungurian stage of the Early Permian.[1] Its fossils were found in the U.S. states of Ohio and Texas. It was a carnivore and preyed upon animals close to its size. Ctenospondylus had a long tail, short back spines, and a very deep yet narrow skull with massive jaws that had sharp teeth. Because of its large size, it was probably the apex predator in its environment, and might have competed with other predators like Dimetrodon for food. A Sphenacodontid, it was a close relative of Dimetrodon. A species has been found in Ohio, along with Dimetrodon, Edaphosaurus, Ophiacodon, and Eryops, according to the latest Fossils of Ohio book.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lucas, S.G. (2006). "Global Permian tetrapod biostratigraphy and biochronology". In Lucas S,G.; Cassinis G.; Schneider J.W. Non-Marine Permian Biostratigraphy and Biochronology. Special Publications. 265. London: Geological Society. pp. 65–93. ISBN 9781862392069. Retrieved 10 December 2012.