Community College (LRCCD)

Geology & Earth Science Instructor: Arthur Reed, P.G.



Happy Fossil Friday!

Friday June 18, 2021


Pre-dinosaur Apex Predator - Gorgonopsid


A person holding a snake

Description automatically generated with low confidence


Gorgonopsids (Gorgonopsia) are theriodonts, a major group of therapsids that included the ancestors of mammals (that includes humans). Gorgonopsians evolved in the Middle Permian (270mya) becoming the apex predator of its time, but then became a victim of the ‘Great Dying” at the end of the Paleozoic.  This was all before the rise of dinosaurs, maybe even ‘cooler’ than dinosaurs?!


Below are links to a one-minute video by Kelsie Abrams (Fossil Lab Manager at the Burke Museum in Seattle) on creating a mold and a replica of a small bone from a Goronopsid, and a three-minute video with Dr. Luis Chiappe of the LA Natural History Museum with a brief look at the Gorgonopsid.











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