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A Gorynych with a 'female spirit' found in the Kirov region

Vladimir Masyutin, an expert at the Vyatka Paleontological Museum, together with Christian Kammerer from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, described two new types of therapsids found in Permian sediments near the city of Kotelnich in the Kirov region. Two scientific articles on the therocephalus Gorynychus masyutinae and the gorgonopsian Nochnitsa geminidens in comparison with the known since 1999 Viatkogorgon ivakhnenkoi, are published in the journal PeerJ.
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Well-preserved fragments of skeletons are valuable in that they help shed light on the evolution of 'proto-mammals' and thus find out the reasons why by the end of the Permian period the therapsids from one suborder increased sharply in size, and the animals from another became significantly smaller.

The first species found was named Gorynychus masyutinae in honour of the mythical creature called Zmey Gorynych (Russian 'zmey' meaning a dragon or serpent of Russian folktales). An animal the size of a wolf was attributed to the sub-order of the terocesphals of the order therapsida.

The second predatory therapsid from the suborder of gorgonopsia (also part of the therapsida order) was given the Latin name Nochnitsa geminidens, in honour of the nochnitsa — a Slavic hostile spirit of the female sex. Judging by the large eye sockets, the animal most likely was nocturnal.

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