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Dimetrodon Fact Sheet
|NAME:||Meaning - Dimetrodon means "Two measures tooth"
Pronounced - di-MET-ro-DON
Named By - Edward Drinker Cope
When Named - 1884
|SIZE:||Length - 11.5 feet (3.5 m) long
Height - about 3 ft (1 m) tall at the hips
Weight - 550 pounds (250 kg)
|WHEN IT LIVED:||Permian period, about 280-245 million years ago (long before the dinosaurs appeared).|
|WHERE IT LIVED:||Fossils have been found in Texas and Oklahoma in the USA, North America. Trackways (fossilized footprints) of Dimetrodon have been found in Nova Scotia, Canada.|
|FOSSILS:||Dimetrodon is known from many fossils and some footprints.|
|Dimetrodon had a large sail-like flap of skin along its back, dense with blood vessels. The sail was supported by long, bony spines, each of which grew out of a separate spinal vertebra (a bone in the back). The sail may have been a thermoregulatory structure, used to absorb and release heat. The sail may have also been used for mating and dominance rituals, and/or for making it look much larger to predators. Dimetrodon had sharp teeth and clawed feet.
Dimetrodon was not a dinosaur, but a pelycosaur, a so-called mammal-like reptile. The pelycosaurs led to the mammals; they are more closely related to us than to the dinosaurs.
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