Yet another of Marx's non-dinosaur members, Dimetrodon
is a Permian Pelycosaur who lived before a dinosaur ever set foot on the planet. The Permian Period occurred at the end of
the Paleozoic Era, about 280-245 million years ago.
Pelycosaurs were "mammal-like reptiles," and several were some of the most fearsome
predators of their time. A few sported big sails, or fins, on their backs like our friend Dimetrodon here. The 'sail' was
believed to have regulated body temperature (Edaphosaurus was another example of a 'sail-back,' though he ate plants rather
than meat). Another theory offered about the sail is that it was used by males in mating rituals (yep, machismo is age-old,
Several species of Dimetrodon occurred, including Dimetrodon grandis
(the most widely known), and D. angelensis, the largest species known.
Edward Drinker Cope named Dimetrodon in 1884. The name, meaning "two measures
tooth" refers to the two different types of teeth Dimetrodon had: serrated, cutting teeth as well as grasping incisor teeth.
Though not a dino, Dimetrodon is often included in dinosaur playsets. Interestingly enough, there is no way Dimetrodon could have lived alongside dinos. At the end
of the Permian Period, a mass extinction occurred, wiping out Dimetrodon and many other plant and animal species. It was actually
worse than the K-T extinction that wiped out the dinos--95% of marine life was wiped out, along with 70% of land life.
However, it's a pretty common occurence for one of these guys to be included
if you buy any bag o' dinos, bucket o' dinos, or box o' dinos. Several companies have issued a Dimetrodon figure: MPC made
one that was basically a pirate of the Marx figure, and these have been (and still are, to this day) 'pirated' by all kinds
of other companies. We saw a big, toothy Dimetrodon in the Tootsietoy hollow dino line and, more recently, Carnegie Safari produced a very nice 'museum quality' figure of him. Bullyland is another...and
Marx's not-so-formidable Dimetrodon takes on that 'cute look' again, like
so many of the Marx-osaurs, but nevertheless, he's a neat figure. Below, he's pictured with a comtemporary copy made by Ja-Ru,
which goes to show that this mold (or at least, a mold inspired by the Marx mold) is still out there being used.
|Click to enlarge.
Meaning: "Two Measures Tooth"
Time Period: Permian (280-245
Location: U.S.: Texas and Oklahoma