Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class  ???
Order Therapsida
Suborder Dinocephalia
Family Tapinocephalidae
Subfamily Tapinocephalinae
Genus Moschops
1st Species Moschops capensis
2nd Species Moschops koupensis
Other attributes
Time Range 265-260 mya
Location South Africa
Name Meaning Calf face
Physical Dimensions 2.7 meters long
Weight 800 kilograms
Dietary Classification Herbivore
Moschops is a tapinocephalid therapsid synapsid from the Guadalupian of South Africa. It was named in 1911 by Robert Broom. It is one of the most famous synapsids to exist, only being overshadowed by Dimetrodon.


Moschops was a dinocephalian with 4 erect legs, a short tail, a broad, bulky body, and a mid-sized head. Its most notable feature is the large, bony dome atop its forehead. Its body would have been covered in smooth skin.


Moschops was an herbivore, feeding on tough vegetation. Its teeth were small and stout, and were used to process vegetation before the synapsid swallowed it.


Moschops had short, stout teeth and strong jaw muscles that allowed it to chew on tough, fibrous plants like cycads; however, due to the lack of nutrients in plants like these, it would have needed to eat for a long time. As well as this, its anatomy allowed it to open up its elbow joint, allowing it to walk with a more erect gait than most other tetrapods of the time; however, it would have been a slow runner, as its bulk would have impeded its movement. Some scientists even say that Moschops, along with all other dinocephalians, would have been semi-aquatic; to add onto this, its heavy head would have been useful for diving down in search of (possibly more nutritious) aquatic plants. However, the bony dome atop its head tells us that the dinocephalian also spent a reasonable amount of time on land; during mating season, rival males would have either butted heads like a goat or pushed heads like an ox.

In popular cultureEdit

Due to books about dinosaurs and other ancient animals, Moschops has climbed to a great height among popular synapsids, only being overshadowed by the aforementioned Dimetrodon. The two big appearances it made were in the 1983 stop motion kid's show Moschops (where it is featured alongside Allosaurus, Diplodocus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus, and Ichthyosaurus) and the 1998 first person shooter game Carnivores (where it is featured as a skittish herbivore that flees at the smallest slight).

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