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Petit Diictodon by Kawekaweau Petit Diictodon by Kawekaweau
Diictodon was an extremely common genus of therapsid, roughly 45 cm (18 inches) long. It belonged to the sub-group Dicynodontia. These mammal-like synapsids lived during the Late Permian period, approximately 255 million years ago. Fossils have been found in Africa and Asia (in fact, roughly half of all Permian vertabrates found in South Africa are that of Diictodon). This small herbivorous animal was one of the most successful synapsids in the Permian period.

Diictodon had proportionally large heads that ended in a horny beak. Both males and females had a pair of tusks sticking out from the upper jaw, with those of the male being slightly larger. Diictodon had strong arms and legs, as well as 5 sharp claws on each hand, and may have had keen senses of smell and sight. Thir spines moved side to side as they walked. Their jaws were also simplified, with some of the bones dedicated instead to hearing, considered a key sign of mammalian adaptation.

As a therapsid, Diictodon shared many features with modern day mammals. Most noticeably, they made burrows into the earth. These burrows could be up to 1.5 m (5 feet) deep. Many scientists believe that Diictodon lived like the modern gopher. These could have been used to escape the heat of the desert, which was the dominant environment on the continent of Pangaea in the Late Permian Period. Inside these burrows, nests have been found, where Diictodon skeletons are sometimes found in pairs. This suggests that the two Diictodon (a male and a female) mated for life. Many Diictodon, however, nested close to flood plains, and some specimens may have been killed as water flowed into the nests, drowning the animals. Diictodon had no known rival species competing in its niche, so they may have competed primarily with others of their species for the little plant material available.

Like all dicynodonts, Diictodon were herbivorous. They used their beaks to break off pieces of the sparse desert shrubs. Like modern desert animals, Diictodon may have had unusually efficient digestive systems, due to the lack of nutrients present in desert plants. As burrowing animals, they may have fed off of water-rich plant tubers (roots).

Although members of the therapsid group of synapsids evolved into mammals, the line including Diictodon evolved into larger species of synapsid. These dicynodonts, such as Lystrosaurus and Placerias dominated the earlier part of the Triassic period. However, they were out-competed by herbivorous reptiles, such as the prosauropod dinosaurs.

Diictodon was featured as the link between Permian mammal-like reptiles and Lystrosaurus, a Triassic mammal-like reptile or dicynodont on Walking With Monsters.

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PeterPan1944 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2009
I watched"Walking with Monsters", today, Cute little chaps,In the late Permian period, perhaps Neverland was part of Pangia, 250,000,0000 BC, during drought, extreme heat & volcanic activity. I like to see Peter Pan and Jane, traveled back to the late Permian period via the Philadelphia Experiment. Jane would have a pet Diictodon.
Peter and Jane should watch out for Gorgonopsid.
phillipant Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2009
Diictodon are gorgeous little creatures, I'd would kill to have one of them.
SSJGarfield Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2009
Cute little critter, isn't it?

In the most recent episode of the science fiction Drama Primeval they had a big role.
Kid-Kobold Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2007
Nicely done with great detail. He almost looks smiling.
Kawekaweau Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2007
Thanks. :D
Bran-Artworks Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2007  Student General Artist
dicynodontes.........sigan ,no se extingan
Kawekaweau Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2007
Bran-Artworks Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2007  Student General Artist
era la locura que tenia el año pasado con los dicinodontes
Bran-Artworks Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2007  Student General Artist
al fin encontre un dibujo de un dicinodonte aqui¡¡¡son raros y contados
Kawekaweau Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2007
Seee, casi nadie los dibuja, no se por que , si son tan lindos. =)
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