Sunday, February 19, 2012

CYNOGNATHUS: Ancestral Guide

One of the first Animals to have specialized teeth was Cynognathus, a Cynodont (proto-Mammal).  This meat-eater had two canines to stab her prey with, and cheek teeth to shear meat off.  A cross between Dog and Lizard, Cynognathus was the top predator during the Triassic before the rise of the Dinosaurs.  Like modern Wolves, Cynognathus hunted in packs bringing down large animals.  Another reason for Cynognathus being a top predator was her large mammal-like brain. 
A fast moving carnivore, She had her front legs directly underneath Her instead of side by side like Reptiles.  Furthermore, Cynognathus had powerful jaws, and an unusually large head (which accounted for twenty percent of her body).  In addition, Cynognathus had many other similarities to modern Mammals.  She was warm-blooded, covered with fur, and gave birth to live young.  Although She lived about 230 million years ago, Cynognathus is believed to be the ancestor of modern Mammals.
Even though Cynognathus is far removed from us, She can still be considered to be one of our deep ancestors.  By living in deep time, Cynognathus can guide us through our own line of ancestors.  She will show how each of us came into being.  Let Her help you discover your links in your chain of life.

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