Therocephalia(redirected from Therocephalians)
(also Scylocosauroidea), an infraorder (or superfamily) of extinct reptiles of the suborder Theriodontia (subclass Synapsida) that lived in the Late Permian. Members of the infraorder were predators of small or medium size; some possibly fed on carrion. The low, massive skull preserved archaic features. In the lower jaw, for example, the posterior bones were well developed, the teeth on the buccal side of the mouth lacked supplementary cusps on the crown, and the secondary palate was absent or rudimentary. Therocephalia comprised several families. The greatest number of those described inhabited southern Africa; some are also known from East Africa, western China, and the European part of the USSR.