Permian Period

248-286 Million Years Ago

Highlights of the Permian

  • A great mass extinction took place at the end of the Permian. 90% to 95% of all marine species and 70% of all terrestrial vertebrates went extinct. This was the largest mass extinction in all of Earth’s history
  • Pangea is now complete
  • Very dry temperatures in the interior of Pangea
  • Plants with seeds developed, replacing the swamp plants
  • Time of coral reef building
  • Development of the first large herbivores and carnivores

Permian Animals (Click to jump to Dinosaur)

Dimetrodon, “Two Measure Teeth”

  • di
    Order
    : Synapsids, mammal-like reptiles. Not a member of the dinosaur family
  • Length: 3 meters
  • When did I live? The Permian Period, 270 million years ago
  • Where? North America
  • What family did I belong to?Pelycosaurs, which means “basin lizard”
  • What food did I eat? I preyed on small reptiles
  • What special feature did I have? My elongated webbed spine served as air-conditioning for my body

Keichousaurus hui

  • no
    Order
    : Nothosauroidea
  • Length: 15-30 cm
  • When did I live? Triassic, about 250-200 million years ago
  • Where? China
  • What family did I belong to?Pachypleurosauria, Keichosaurus
  • What food did I eat? I had very sharp teeth, which indicates that I ate fish
  • What special feature did I have? I had a mobile pelvis so I gave birth to live young rather than laying eggs

Captorhinus agui “Capture Nose”

  • ca
    Order
    : Captorhinida
  • Length: 40 cm
  • When did I live? Early Permian 286 to 245 million years ago
  • Where? North America
  • What family did I belong to?Captorhinidae captorhindus
  • What food did I eat? Insects, snails, other reptiles and amphibians
  • What special feature did I have? I am called a “stem reptile”, which means that it is believed that I am the ancestral link to all modern reptiles, the dinosaurs, mammals and birds.

Mesosaurus Brazilensis “Middle Lizard”

  • me
    Order
    : Mesosauria
  • Length: 1 meter
  • When did I live?Cisuralian, 299-280 million years ago
  • Where? Southern Africa and eastern Southern America (evidence of continental drift)
  • What family did I belong to?Mesosaurudae Mesosaurus
  • What food did I eat? It is believed that I used to filter plankton from the water
  • What special feature did I have? I was also one of the first reptiles to live in the water again after the Devonian. My head is triangular, unlike those of other early reptiles which had diamond-shaped heads.

Discosauriscus austriacus

  • dis
    Order
    : Sauropterygia
  • Length: roughly 20cm
  • When did I live? Permian, 285 million years ago
  • Where?Letovice, Czech Republic
  • What family did I belong to? Discosaurus austriacus
  • What food did I eat? Unclear
  • What special feature did I have? I had a wide jaw, with sharp teeth, short limbs and a long tail