National Geographic News

Dinogorgon Skull

Photograph by Jonathan Blair

A quarter of a billion years ago, long before dinosaurs or mammals evolved, the 10-foot (0.3-meter) predator Dinogorgon, whose skull is shown here, hunted floodplains in the heart of today's South Africa. In less than a million years Dinogorgon vanished in the greatest mass extinction ever, along with about nine of every ten plant and animal species on the planet.

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