Most of the fossils that have been found of Varanops are of juveniles

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Most of the fossils that have been found of Varanops are of juveniles, and so it is not easy to see what the adult was like. The skulls and jaws were very long and fragile, and their reconstruction into a complete set of head bones is very difficult. Varanops was one of the latest-surviving of the pelycosaurs. It became extinct in the earliest part of the late Permian, like the rest of its type, when more advanced mammal-like reptiles became the most important meat-eaters. Dinosaur Costume


Features: The teeth of Varanops. and of its close relative Varanosaurus, which may in fact turn out to be the same genus, are flattened and strongly curved. These are evidently the teeth of a flesh-eating hunter. It appears that the head is quite primitive, like that of an ophiacodont. while the rest of the body is more like a more advanced member of the pelycosaurs. a sphenacodont. Dinosaur equipment

This fierce hunter was built with a huge head and killing teeth backed up by a body that was adapted for a strong frontal attack. It was the biggest of the sphenacodont group. Others included the 1.2m (4ft) Haptodusy which looked just like a miniature Sphenacodon and must have hunted smaller prey.


Features: In Sphenacodon we find the beginnings of the elongation of the vertebrae, which would eventually evolve into the back sails that are so distinctive of the most spectacular of pelycosaurs. Here, though, they did not carry the sail, but probably acted as anchor points for strong back muscles that may have allowed Sphenacodon to lunge at its prey. As in the rest of the group the teeth are specialized into dagger-like front teeth and meat-shearing teeth at the back.