Remember this guy? It's Odobenodon bairdi, a thought experiment designed to deduce what some Permian critters would have evolved into had the Permio-Triassic extinction not occurred. It's a project I'm working on with Will Baid of The Dragon's Tales. Anyway, this was my first pass at the "walrodont," as we're calling it, and it looks bad now. I'm continually reworking the animal's gross morphology. Skull doesn't make sense, limbs are too long, etc. But I do like the idea of a walrodont, though the more I think about it the less it makes sense.
Anyway, two new critters have popped up. Transitional forms between a walrodont and your average dog-sized dicynodont. First is the "hippodont," an animal not that different from your garden-variety Placerias, but bulkier. We haven't decided on a formal name yet, but I like him!
Forelimbs sprawl, hindlimbs are held erect. All I know about dicynodonts, I learned from Will Baird. They're very strange critters, totally unlike anything that's come before or since. The next up is the "desmodont," sort of a cross between a dicynodont and a desmostylan. I figured that the first tentative steps into a marine environment would be more like paddles, and desmostylans have been compared to paddling bears before (I don't have the citation right in front of me), so they seemed like a good model.
No formal name here, either. I can definately see this creature evolving into the walrodont at the top of the post, although the walrodont needs some major changes. In fact, I've since come up with a new walrodont, but I had it almost as much. Here it is for comparison's sake:
Oh, geezus, look away! The hindlimbs are all wrong, and the forelimbs are too...bulky! I'm starting to think that dicynodonts would go the way of sirenians--eliminate the hindlimbs entirely, but that makes landlubbing something of a problem. So the walrodont is tough for me. But like I said, dicynodonts are new to me. If anyone has helpful PDF's, especially any detailing their cranial anatomy or general skeletal build, that would be enormously helpful. Anyway, these are the "new" dicynodonts. What'cha'll think?