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Temporal range: Middle Permian
Pristeroognathus DB.jpg
Restoration of two P. vanderbyli
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Therapsida
Suborder: Therocephalia
Family: Scylacosauridae
Genus: Pristerognathus

Pristerognathus is an extinct genus of therocephalian, known from the late Middle Permian (Capitanian) of South Africa.[1] It lends its name to the Pristerognathus Assemblage Zone of the Beaufort Group of South African geological strata. Pristerognathus was a medium-sized therocephalian with a 25 cm (9.8 in) skull and a total length up to 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in).[2]

These animals were roughly dog-sized, and are characterized by long, narrow skulls with large canines. They are likely to have lived in woodlands, and preyed on smaller therapsids and millerettids of the time.[3]

Pristerognathus was discovered in 1895 by Seeley. Three species are known: P. baini, P. polyodon and P. vanderbyli.[4] There has also been a fourth species P. minor, but this has been reclassified to Pristerognathoides.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ F. Abdala, B. Rubidge, and J. van der Heever, "The oldest therocephalians (Therapsida, Eutheriodonta) and the early diversification of Therapsida," Palaeontology, 51, 1011-1024 (2008)
  2. ^ Stainford Kemp, Thomas(2005) The origin and evolution of mammals p.55
  3. ^
  4. ^