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If there’s one conference I can’t bear to miss, it’s the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology annual meeting. Especially because there’s always at least one image presented during the talks that makes me sit bolt upright in my chair and think “What the hell is that?” This year, in a darkened Dallas convention hall, it was when paleontologist Christian Sidor flashed an image of a very strange skull on the screen.
The creature wasn’t the focus of Sidor’s talk. His presentation was focused on new finds of protomammal cousins of ours called burnetiamorphs from Zambia and Tanzania. And given that paleontology is at its heart a comparative science, Sidor reviewed previous discoveries of related animals. Among them was a creature that immediately bit into my imagination. Flared, triangular crests poked up above each eye, and a pair of saber fangs jutted below the jaw at the end of the protomammal’s elongated snout. It looked downright demonic, and its name is Lemurosaurus.
While Lemurosaurus had been bumped around between various groups of protomammals in the past, Sidor and Welman were able to confirm its place among the burnetiamorpha. They were weirdos, all. Each species in the group had long canines and their own arrangement of knobs and bosses across the skull. Paired with names like Lobalopex and Bullacephalus, they seem like the perfect inspiration for science fiction or horror writers looking for made-to-order monsters.
Read full, original post: Our Prehistoric Cousins Had Demonic Skulls