Skip to main content


Have you ever heard of Lystrosaurus? This amazing little creature was one of the very few lifeforms that actually survived the massive Permian/Triassic extinction event. Because they were able to make it through, they absolutely thrived during the Early Triassic, and were the most common land animals!

There are about half a dozen different species within the genus, and they have been found in what is now Southern Africa, Asia, and Antarctica. If that sounds like an odd distribution, remember that back 250 million years ago, those continents were actually joined together.

So what was Lytrosaurus? Well.. it was't a Dinosaur, despite the name. They actually weren't really reptiles either... Confusing, right? They were Therapsids, odd, mammal/reptile like creatures that would eventually evolve into the mammals we have today.

Lystrosaurus was about the size of a small pig and had short snouts, and only two, shovel-like teeth. They were herbivores that probably walked with a semi-spawling gate. There are many theories on why these animals survived when others did not. Some think that because they burrowed, they could cope with the low Oxygen air.  Others think that their small-ish size, semi-aquatic lifestyle, and varied diet helped to keep them going.

We know quite a bit about this extinct genus because their fossils are amazingly abundant. They were so common back in the Triassic that 95% of fossils in some sites belong to these animals!

Status : Extinct for 250 million years
Location : South Africa, Asia, Antarctica
Size : Length up to 3ft (.9m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Synapsida -- Order : Therapsida
Family : †Lystrosauridae -- Genus : †Lystrosaurus


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!


The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe