Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class  ???
Order Therapsida
Suborder Gorgonopsia
Family Gorgonopsidae
Subfamily Inostranceviinae
Genus Inostrancevia
1st Species Inostrancevia alexandri
2nd Species Inostrancevia latifrons
3rd Species Inostrancevia uralensis
Other attributes
Time Range 260-254 mya
Location Russia
Name Meaning Aleksandr Inostrantsev's animal
Physical Dimensions 2.4 meters long for I.alexandri, 3.5 meters long for I.latifrons
Dietary Classification Carnivore

Inostrancevia is a gorgonopsid therapsid synapsid from the Guadalupian-Lopingian of Russia. It was named in 1922 by Vladmir P. Amalitsky. It was the biggest gorgonopsian; however, it was only one of the biggest therapsid synapsids, beaten in size by the earlier Anteosaurus.


Inostrancevia resembled the generic gorgonopsian, a therapsid with 4 erect legs, a somewhat slender body, and a big head with a mouth containing large canines in the front and smaller teeth in the back. Like all other gorgonopsians, and unlike most other therapsids, its legs were erect. Its body would have been covered in smooth skin.


Inostrancevia was a predator, preying on pareiasaurs and dicynodonts. Near the curves of its jaws, it had a pair of large canines, which were used for penetrating through tough hide.


One of Inostrancevia's key features was its legs. Unlike other therapsids, which assumed a sprawling gait, Inostrancevia assumed an erect gait, which bore weight more efficiently; this allowed it to gallop at high speeds for a long time. Another, more well-known feature was its large canines; these were used for slicing into any type flesh, from the tough hides of pareiasaurs such as Scutosaurus to the soft flesh of dicynodonts. Since they were so big, the gorgonopsian's lower jaw grew in a notched manner so the teeth could be easily hidden; other saber-toothed predators such as Thylacosmilus had this feature.

In popular cultureEdit

Inostrancevia was featured in the 3rd episode of the 2005 documentary Walking with Monsters, where it is shown as evolving from Dimetrodon over a course of 26 million years. As well as this, it is shown as the apex predator of the Lopingian deserts; despite this, it falls victim to horrible events such as ravenous Scutosaurus herds and deadly sandstorms, dying at the end of the segment.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.