As opposed to the wildly popular bird-like dromaesaurs, the squirrel-like dromasaurs (lacking the “e” in the middle), like Galepus (Fig. 1, Broom 1910) are rarely studied. Brinkman (1981) made an important contribution. These less popular anomodonts are cousins to the hippo-like dicynodonts (Fig. 2). Both were herbivores of the Late Permian, nesting within the Therapsida and Synapsida.
I’ve seen a century-old reconstruction of the skull of Galepus, but I’ve never seen the whole body reconstructed (Fig. 10. That seems a shame as it is represented by a nicely curled nearly complete skeleton at the American Museum of Natural History (hirez color images kindly provided by their staff). And it’s been known for some time now. Much of the skull and skeleton is represented by impressions of missing bone in coarse sandstone.
The skull is only a cast of the internal surface of the roofing bones. Well marked, but odd.
Galepus has been nested (ref) with Galechirus close to Galeops at the transition to Eodicynodon (Fig. 3) between dromasaurs + kin and dicynodonts + kin.
The large reptile tree found a different relationship, with dromasaurs + dicynodonts splitting from the other therapsids at the base of that clade. Earlier we looked at differences and similarities between Galeops and Eodicynodon (Fig. 3). While they share many traits, phylogenetic analysis finds more parsimonious relationships when more taxa are introduced. Earlier we also looked at the base of the Anomodontia and the new taxa now nesting there.
Brinkman D 1981. The Structure and Relationships of the Dromasaurs (Reptilia: Therapsida). Brevioria, 465: 1-34.
Broom R 1910. A comparison of the Permian reptiles of North America with those of South Africa. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 28: 197-234.