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Dino of the Week: Dimetrodon

Andy Davidson, Writer

Name: Dimetrodon (dahy-me-truh-don)

Time Period: The dimetrodon lived 295 million to 272 million years ago during the Permian Period. It is technically not a dinosaur, but a synapsid which is basically just a really big reptile in this case. It was a precursor to big dinos such as the T-Rex.

Diet: It is quite obvious to paleontologists that the Dimetrodon was a meat eater. The name Dimetrodon means “two measures tooth” for its two different kinds of teeth in its mouth. Its first set of teeth were used to capture and hold the prey while the second set were used to tear the flesh off the bone.

Size: This reptile was about 15 feet long and 550 pounds with an extensive tail and a large fin on its back. With its fin, it was about the height of an averaged size human. It walked on all four legs like many modern reptiles. Its skull was also very large in order to fit all of its powerful teeth which helped in capturing its prey.

Fun Facts:

  • There are three theories as to the function of the Dimetrodons large sail but the most prevalent theory is that it stored heat during the day to keep it warm at night.
  • It is about twice as long as a modern horse.
  • Dimetrodons thrived in their time period and their fossils have been found all over Europe and North America.

Keep on the lookout for next week’s dino of the week as Andy returns with a new dino profile!

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