Produced by the Population Genetics and Evolution class, Furman University

The Triassic: Cynognathus
Cynognathus were relatively large terrestrial predators that had mammalian and reptilian-like features. According to fossil records these extinct tetrapodal organisms grew to about two meters in length (NHM 2010). The most fascinating characteristic of Cynognathus was their emergence of specialized teeth that make scientists believe they were carnivorous. Recovered skulls reveal that they had three distinct types of teeth that allowed them to hunt and feed with greater efficiency than their previous ancestors. In addition, they had a special jaw attachment that allowed them to open their mouths wider (White 2010). These creatures also had an early version of a secondary palate, which was significant because it allowed the organism to drink and eat during respiration (AA 2010). Because of these traits, Cynognathus was a feared predator.

Page by Pete Calomiris

Cynognathus. Picture Provided By: The Australian Museum

Absolute Astronomy. 1999. Cynognathus. Accessed March 2010.

Natural History Museum. 2010. Cynognathus crateronotus. Accessed March 2010.

White AT. 2003. Cynodontia: Eucynodontia. Accessed March 2010.