Paleo Profile: The Head of the Devil
You know a skull’s special when the researchers studying the fossil call it “the head of the devil”. And Lende chiweta, described by paleontologist Ashley Kruger and colleagues, lives up to the title. With large canines and a set of bosses jutting from its skull, this little protomammal probably looked scarier than it actually was in life.
Like the Lemurosaurus that recently caught my eye, Lende was a burnetiamorph. These protomammals are famous among Permian paleontologists for their strange headgear. What makes Lende special, though, isn’t so much its unusual ornamentation as where it was found.
Up until recently the published record of the strange and varied burnetiamorphs was dominated by finds from South Africa and Russia. Over the past