Ophiacodonts to scale

Romer and Price (1940) did a bang-up piece on pelycosaurs back in the day. From their tome I pulled two images, one of ophiacodonts known then (Fig. 1) and of sphenacodonts (we’ll do that tomorrow).

Figure 1. Ophiacodont skulls. Here Tetraceratops and Eothyris do not belong.

Figure 1. Ophiacodont skulls as Romer and Price drew them. Here Tetraceratops and Eothyris do not belong, so they are grayed out. Some skulls, like Elliotsmithia, are not so well known as pictured.

Romer and Price were kind enough to put mm lengths under each picture. I thought it might be nice to see how they look when scaled (Figs. 3,4). Ophiacodon retroversus gets pretty impressive, especially when it develops two lateral temporal fenestrae!

Figure 3. Ophiacodont skulls to scale. Gives a greater appreciation for their variety, doesn't it?

Figure 3. Ophiacodont skulls to scale. Gives a greater appreciation for their variety, doesn’t it?

According to the large reptile tree, Elliotsmithia was the most primitive. Eothyris and Tetraceratops were not ophiacodonts, but caseasaurs and limnoscelids, respectively. Varanops and Varanosaurus skulls we looked at earlier here. They don’t look quite the same in bone as they do here.

References
Romer AS and Price LW 1940. Review of the Pelycosauria. Geological Society of America Special Papers 28: 1-538.

wiki/Ophiacodon

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