THE MODE OF LIFE OF GORGONOPSIANS
Cruickshank, A. R. I.
BERNARD PRICE INSTITUTE FOR PALAEONTOLOGICAL RESEARCH
The gorgonopsians as typically developed were undoubtedly the dominant land carnivores of the Upper Permian and have been compared with the sabre-tooth cats of the Tertiary (Parrington, 1955, p. 7 and Kemp, 1969b, p. 321). However, the similarities between the two groups are almost entirely confined to their dentitions and the general proportions of their lower jaws, both possessing greatly enlarged canine teeth and relatively weak coronoid processes on the lower jaw. In addition, both groups show adaptations to allow the lower jaw to make a wide gape, thus allowing the upper and lower canines to clear each other when the jaw is opened and, at the same time, keeping the jaw articulations from dislocating during this movement.