The cynodonts are the success story of the mammal-likc reptiles. Late to evolve, they survived the end of the Permian mass, extinction and developed to become the most important of the Triassic types. Procynosuchus was an early cynodont from the Permian. A related animal Paratbrinaxodon from Tanzania may he another species of Procynosuchus.
Features: For all it was an early type, Procynosuchus shows some specialist adaptations. The tail vertebrae are flattened and the tail and hindquarters very flexible. The hind limbs are paddle-like. These are adaptations to a swimming lifestyle. The chewing mechanism is much more sophisticated than any of its contemporaries, with greater areas for muscle attachment. The pattern of points on the teeth is very mammaWike.
Below: Procynosuchus must have looked and behaved like an otter of modern times, chasing fish in shallow ponds and rivers.