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Diictodon - a hardy little burrower. Just half a meter long. Small...and ugly...in a kind of cute way.
— Allen, about Diictodon

Diictodon (name meaning "Two Weasel Tooth") is a genus of small therapsid dicynodont herbivore (small, prehistoric mammal-like reptiles), closely related to mammals, that originated during the Late Permian period in what is now South Africa and Siberia. It was one of the few survivors of the Permian mass extinction.

FactsEdit

Era & DiscoveryEdit

Diictodon lived during the Late Permian period 260-250 million years ago. It was among the smallest animal of its time. Diictodon was first discovered by Sir Richard Owen in 1876.

Physical AttributesEdit

Diictodon was a small animal, measuring approximately 45 centimeters in length. They possessed a barrel-like body with four, strong legs that possessed six clawed digits on each hand, and a large head which ended in a small beak with a pair of tusks protruding from the upper-jaw. Diictodon also had large round eyes, and white and brown patterns on their skin. They possessed a long, barrel-like, and slender body.

Though both male and female Diictodon both possess a short pair of short tusks protruding from the sides of its beak, the males were larger than the females. Like the large predatory Inostrancevia, Diictodon were distant reptile relatives of mammals and although the first true mammals didn't evolved until about 30 million years after the Permian, their was already family resemblances in Diictodon. In particular, their hearing was linked to tiny bones in their lower jaw. These eventually evolved into the middle ear bones for humans, something no reptile has ever had.

Behavior & TraitsEdit

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Diictodon pair

Diictodon was a small, mammal-like reptilian creature that was more adaptable than the other animals in its era. They lived in pairs in deeply dug, spiral-shaped burrows, which could remain cool even in the desert heat. This way of life allowed them to survive in sand storms, and they found underground plant roots and tubers that held enough water and nutrients to keep them going for several months. Despite having a strong bond between each other, they were aggressive towards other pairs. With food sparse in the late Permian, they would constantly fight over the smallest plants.

These teeth were used for fighting off other Diictodon as well as scraping roots and tubers. These tusks were useless when it came to digging as they would break or blunt. Several pairs of Diictodon would be more in comparison to a neighborhood rather than a colony. They competed ferociously for the sparse vegetation that is their food. And this frequently led to confrontations. These clashes were one reason why both males and females sported a pair of short tusks. However Diictodon did have one advantage when living in a crowd. If a neighbor spotted danger, then everyone soon knew about it and could take action to protect themselves.

Diictodon were notable for their ability to and habit of chewing up practically anything they could - ranging from papers and clothing to cables, cage mesh and electrical wiring. Diictodon were not very aggressive creatures, and were highly playful and could be considered 'cute' with each-other, and were also willing to socialize with other small herbivores such as Coelurosauravus.

Journal EntryEdit

Cute, little burrowers that lived in pairs underground in spiral-shaped burrows dug deep beneath the Earth, Diictodon were adapted to living life underground; something of a prehistoric version of a modern day gopher, ground hog, and prairie dog. In their burrows, they could survive a sand storm. Both males and females sported a pair of short tusks. They also had a very good sense of hearing.

Although several pairs of Diictodon would be neighbors, they never lived in colonies. They furiously competed for food, but when they were in danger, they warned each other about it.

— Allen, in his Journal, about Diictodon

GalleryEdit

Trivia Edit

  • The sound effects of Diictodon are that of gopher, ground-hog, and raccoon sounds.