Styracocephalus

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Styracocephalus
Temporal range: Capitanian, 265.8–260.4 Ma
StyracocephalusDB.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Therapsida
Suborder: Dinocephalia
Family: Styracocephalidae
Genus: Styracocephalus
Species: S. platyrhynchus
Binomial name
Styracocephalus platyrhynchus
Haughton, 1929
Styracocephalus

Styracocephalus platyrhynchus ('spike head') is an extinct species of tapinocephalian therapsid that lived during the Guadalupian epoch.

Styracocephalus' head ornament meant that it could be recognised from a distance. The most striking feature of Styracocephalus are the large backward-protruding tabular horns.[1]

The crest stuck upwards and backwards, but there is some variation in its shape, and this suggests that it changed throughout life and that it may be sexually dimorphic. Styracocephalus was a herbivore that may have been fully terrestrial or partly aquatic like the modern hippopotamus. It may have evolved from the estemmenosuchids.[citation needed]

Its remains are known from South Africa but it probably had a wider distribution.

It was around 1.8 metres (5 ft 11 in) in length,[2] with a 42 centimetres (17 in) long, 29 centimetres (11 in) wide skull.[3]

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