Arctops ("Bear face") is an extinct genus of gorgonopsian therapsids known from the Late Permian of South Africa. It measured up to 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) in length and its skull was 30 centimetres (12 in) long.[1] The type species is Arctops willistoni. A second species, A. watsoni, may be synonymous with A. willistoni. A. kitchingi may be a third species of Arctops, but it was only tentatively assigned to the genus when it was first named.[2] Both were formally synonymized with A. willistoni by Christian Kammerer in 2017.[3]

Temporal range: Late Permian
Arctops watsoni.jpg
Life restoration
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Synapsida
Clade: Therapsida
Clade: Gorgonopsia
Family: Gorgonopsidae
Genus: Arctops
Watson, 1914
  • A. willistoni Watson, 1914 (type)


  1. ^ "Arctops willistoni - Palaeocritti - a guide to prehistoric animals".
  2. ^ Gebauer, E.V.I. (2007). Phylogeny and evolution of the Gorgonopsia with a special reference to the skull and skeleton of GPIT/RE/7113 ('Aelurognathus?' parringtoni) (PDF) (Ph.D. thesis). Tübingen: Eberhard-Karls Universität Tübingen. pp. 1–316.
  3. ^ Kammerer, C.F. (2017). "Anatomy and relationships of the South African gorgonopsian Arctops (Therapsida, Theriodontia)". Papers in Palaeontology. 3 (4): 583–611. doi:10.1002/spp2.1094.