An international team of researchers documented the discovery of a 265-million-year-old fossil of the species Pampaphoneus biccai which was found in Brazil.
About Pampaphoneus biccai:
- It belongs to the early therapsid clade called dinocephalians.
- It lived just before the largest extinction event in the history of Earth. That event eliminated 86 per cent of all animal species across the globe.
- Before the extinction event, dinocephalians were one of the major groups of large terrestrial animals that thrived on land.
- They were medium to large-sized creatures with both carnivorous and herbivorous representatives.
- They had thick cranial bones, which led to the group's name which translates to "terrible head" in Greek.
- These animals are rare in other parts of the world but well-known in South Africa and Russia.
- It is the only known species in Brazil.
Q1: What are Dinocephalians?
Dinocephalians, also known as Dinocephalia, were a group of extinct prehistoric reptiles that lived during the Permian period, approximately 290 to 260 million years ago. They belong to a larger group called Therapsida, which also includes the ancestors of modern mammals.