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Gorgonops (literally "Gorgon' face") is an extinct genus of therapsid which lived about 255-250 million years ago,


during the latest part of the Permian Period. It was a typical representative of the suborder Gorgonopsia, the dominant predators of their day, which in the largest forms grew to over four metres long. Gorgonops possessed highly developed, 12-cm long "sabre" canine teeth, similar to those found in sabre-toothed cats in the Cenozoic. Arguments have even been made for therapsids of its time being endothermic, though no strong evidence exists either way. All of the gorgonopsids are believed to have died out in the Permian extinction.

Gorgonops itself was a medium to large-sized representative of the group, with a skull length of twenty to thirty-five centimetres, depending on the species. It ranged from 2 to 2.5 metres long from nose to tail. Gorgonops derived superior speed from long legs held beneath its body.

The holotype of the type species, Gorgonops torvus, was in 1876 one of the first therapsids described, by Richard Owen, who also coined the name "Dinosauria" on the basis of the first known dinosaur fossils. It was also used as the type for which Richard Lydekker described the family in 1890. Five years later, in 1895, Harry Govier Seeley used this genus to establish the group as a whole. In later years, a large number of further species and genera were designated, but some of these turned out to be synonyms.