An illustration of an extinct dicynodont synapsid, a relative of early mammals. It has a turtle-like beak with stubby downward-pointing tusks, a bony crest on the bridge of its nose, a chunky body, four short semi-sprawling legs, and a stubby tail. it's depicted covered in a speculative coat of fur.

Who’s that synapsid?

It’s Bulbasaurus phylloxyron!

This creature was a member of the dicynodonts, a group of herbivorous mammal-relatives with beaks and protruding tusks. Its fossils are known from the Late Permian of South Africa, about 259-254 million years ago, and it would have been roughly the size of a cat, around 60cm long (2′).

It wasn’t officially named after the pokémon character Bulbasaur, but instead in reference to the bulbous bosses on its snout. But combined with how the species name “phylloxyron” means “leaf razor”, it doesn’t seem to entirely be a coincidence.

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