|Scientific name||Possibly Euchambersia mirabilis|
|Home time period||Mid Permian - Mid Triassic period|
|Creature type||Therapsid reptile|
|Deaths caused|| Mr. George|
Therocephalian are carnivorous mammal-like reptiles from the Permian and the Triassic with large skulls and dog-like whiskers. In Primeval the Therocephalians have a grooved ridge inside the mouth which can inject victims with toxic venom.
Therocephalians ("beast-heads") are named after their large skulls, which, along with the structure of their teeth, suggest that they were successful carnivores. Like other non-mammalian synapsids, Therocephalians are described as mammal-like reptiles. They have also been shown to live and nest in large groups.
VenomTherocephalians have a toxic and fast-acting venom which is injected into a victim with a bite. Symptoms include:
- Weakening of the body
- Bitten area on the skin turns reddish brown and black, then turns purple after death
- Death usually within a few minutes of contact.
A pack of Therocephalians came through an Anomaly to McKinnon School in the present day. When a school teacher, George, tried to get a snack from a vending machine, a Therocephalian that was hiding in the machine leapt out and attacked. It bit and poisoned him, and afterwards killed him and ripped him apart. The same Therocephalian then attacked Steve and Darren in the school's security system room but failed to kill them. It then stalked Beth inside the gym, and killed her.
It next attacked Matt Anderson but was beaten up by him, and then shot and knocked by Becker in the gym. Becker later found a nest of the other Therocephalians and accidentally woke them up. While he was shooting them back, one bit and poisoned him. Matt rescued Becker, and they tried to get out of the canteen but were overwhelmed by the Therocephalian nest; until Connor Temple, Darren and Steve gassed the Therocephalians with home-made gas bombs. It is likely that the entire nest was killed largely due to the fact that the gasses used by Connor, Darren and Steve were toxic, containing chlorine.
- These are the first prehistoric creatures to kill a child in Primeval.
- These are the second venomous creatures the show has featured, after the Arthropleura but are the first venomous creatures with actual evidence of having vemon in the show.
- The Therocephalians appear to range in size from a small dog to a wolf, as the ones that were sleeping near the Anomaly were a lot smaller than the one hiding in the vending machine (the ones sleeping near the Anomaly were likely younger).
- This the third mammal-like reptile the team has encountered.
- The Therocephalians in Primeval appear to be based on the Therocephalian in Tim Haines' previous production Walking With Monsters.
- They appear to be nocturnal and live in large family groups because in several parts they are seen sleeping together, even though it was bright outside (although they may have been suffering from "jet lag").
- No therocephalian has venom except for Euchambersia, so these therocephalians are probably Euchambersias.
- Based on the statement about the Therocephalians' venom that says that their venom is as deadly as the black mamba venom, it's reasonable to think that the Therocephalians in Primeval have a venom that is similar to that of a black mamba's.
- The Therocephalians are the only venomous vertebrate animals to appear in Primeval.
- The size of the Therocephalian that was hiding in the vending machine would not have allowed it to fit inside the vending machine.
- The size of the Therocephalians in Episode 4.4 are slightly larger than real Therocephalians.
- When Beth is killed, the attack would appear to have left large amounts of blood, but no trace of the attack is seen.
- However, this is normal for predators, even today. Most predators tend to leave very little evidence behind when they make a kill.
- The Therocephalian are shown with external ears, but actually they have internal ears, like lizards.
|Series 4 Main Creatures|