Tag Archives: Permian period

Dimetrodon Is Canadian!

In 1854, a fossil was found on Prince Edward Island by a farmer. It was part of an upper jaw with curved teeth. It was given the name Bathygnathus borealis. The 290 million year old Permian period reptile couldn’t be identified, and it wasn’t linked to other species that are now known. However, looking at the fossil again, scientists discovered that it’s actually a Dimetrodon.

Dimetrodon incisivum at the Museum of Natural History in the United States.
Dimetrodon incisivum at the Museum of Natural History in the United States.

The Dimetrodon is a famous sail-backed reptile that predates the dinosaurs. They are not related to dinosaurs, but are in fact more closely related to mammals. They come from a group of reptiles called non-mammalian synapsids. While they aren’t our ancestors, another reptile from that group is our direct ancestor.

I find this pretty interesting. Dimetrodons had never been found in Canada before, so it’s nice to add such a famous animal to the list of prehistoric animals that lived in Canada. What do you think of this news?