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Temporal range: Late Permian
Reconstruction of Cistecephalus microrhinus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Synapsida
Order: Therapsida
Infraorder: Dicynodontia
Stem: Kistecephalia
Family: Cistecephalidae
Broom, 1913

Cistecephalidae is an extinct family of dicynodont therapsids from the Late Permian of South Africa. It includes the genera Cistecephalus, Cistecephaloides, and Kawingasaurus. Cistecephalids are thought to have had a fossorial or burrowing lifestyle, with adaptations such as broad skulls, strong forelimbs, and squat bodies. A similar group of dicynodonts called the pylaecephalids were also fossorial, although to a lesser extent than cistecephalids.


  1. Kammerer, C.F.; Angielczyk, K.D. (2009). "A proposed higher taxonomy of anomodont therapsids". Zootaxa 2018: 1–24. 
  2. Ray, S.; Chinsamy, A. (2003). "Functional aspects of the postcranial anatomy of the Permian dicynodont Diictodon and their ecological implications". Palaeontology 46 (1): 151–183. doi:10.1111/1475-4983.00292. 

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