By 280 million years ago (the early Permian period), an Ice Age had wiped out the dense coal-forests and with them most of the giant insects and amphibians. A new group of animals and plants took over. Foremost among these were the reptiles, whose bodies could cope with the new dry, cold conditions. They became the giants of the early Permian. Heat was at a premium and the mornings saw a race between predator and prey to see who could warm up faster. Giant sail-finned reptiles, such as Dimetrodon, wandered this desolate landscape, snapping at anything that came within range, including each other. As we watch, Dimetrodon twists and shrinks, becoming more sleek and wolf-like until it eventually turns into gorgonopsid, a predatory mammal-like reptile.moreless
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