Anomocephalus is an extinct genus of primitive anomodonts. It is primitive in that it retains a complete set of teeth in both jaws, in contrast to its descendants, the dicynodonts, whose dentition is reduced to only a single pair of tusks (and in many cases no teeth at all), with their jaws covered by a horny beak similar to that of a modern tortoise. However, they are in no way closely related.

Its discovery in 1999 from the earliest terrestrial rocks of Gondwana (from Williston in the Karoo of the Northern Cape Province of South Africa) has shown that this group of herbivores originated in Gondwana; not Laurasia, as had previously been supposed. It lived 260 million years ago during the Permian Period, in arid areas with rivers and lakes - almost like parts of modern-day Namibia or Botswana.[1] It is closely related to Tiarajudens from Brazil.[2]


  1. ^ Modesto, S.; Rubidge, B.; Welman, J. (1999). "The most basal anomodont therapsid and the primacy of Gondwana in the evolution of the anomodonts". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 266: 331–337. doi:10.1098/rspb.1999.0642. PMC 1689688Freely accessible. 
  2. ^ Cisneros, J.C.; Abdala, F.; Rubidge, B.S.; Dentzien-Dias, D.; Bueno, A.O. (2011). "Dental Occlusion in a 260-Million-Year-Old Therapsid with Saber Canines from the Permian of Brazil". Science. 331: 1603–1605. Bibcode:2011Sci...331.1603C. doi:10.1126/science.1200305. PMID 21436452. 
  • McCarthy, T. & Rubidge, B. 2005. The story of Earth & Life. A southern African perspective on a 4.6 billion-year journey. Struik Publishers, Cape Town. 333pp.
  • Van Rooyen, F. 26 Maart 2011. Brasiliaanse oerdier had dalk SA familie. Volksblad: 5. [1]

See also