Temporal range: Middle to Late Permian
They were the major predators of their day. They had large, powerful, square-shaped jaws with huge, sabre-like canine and interlaced, socket-like teeth. Many fossils have been found in South Africa.
The largest known, Inostrancevia, was the size of a large bear with a 45 cm long skull, and 12-cm long saber-like teeth.
The Gorgonopsidae are divided into three sub-families:
- Rubidginae, which had large, broad skulls,
- Gorgonopsinae, which included most of the gorgonopsid genera.
- meaning "Gorgon arch," Gorgon was a beast in Greek mythology whose gaze could turn you to stone, and arch refers to synapsid skull holes