Kannemeyeria is a genus of dicynodont that lived during the Anisian age of Middle Triassic period in what is now Africa and South America. The generic name is given in honor of Dr. Daniel Rossouw Kannemeyer, the South African fossil collector who discovered the original specimen. It is one of the first representatives of the family, and hence one of the first large herbivores of the Triassic.
Temporal range: Anisian
|Skull of Kannemeyeria simocephalus|
(Weithofer, 1888 [originally Dicynodon])
Kannemeyeria was about 3 metres (9.8 ft) in length, about the size of an ox. Although it had a large head, it was lightweight due to the size of the eye sockets and nasal cavity. It also had limb girdles which formed massive plates of bone that helped support its heavily built body.
Kannemeyeria was well-adapted to living as a herbivore; it had a powerful beak and strong jaw muscles built for shearing plant material. Kannemeyeria had a massive head with unusually large openings for the eyes, nostrils and jaw muscles. It evidently tore up roots, stripped leaves from the vegetation with its horny break and ground them up with its toothless jaws.
Kannemeyeria is known from the Subzone B of Burgersdorp Formation of South Africa, the Ntawere Formation of Zambia, the Omingonde Formation of Namibia, the Lifua member of Manda Formation of Tanzania, and the Quebrada de los Fósiles Formation of Argentina.
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