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The Gorgon--a terrifying, monstrous female with hairs made of live snakes and a stare so horrifying that it would literally turn you to stone.

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The Gorgonopsid--a predatory protomammal that hunted down its prey via saber-like teeth.

Herein lies the problem. The gorgonopsid looks nothing even remotely like a snake, nor is it likely that it could stare down its own prey into a statue. So why call this family of predatory protomammals "gorgonopsids", anyway?

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    $\begingroup$ If I had to guess, it is because the skull of this animal must have horrified early paleontologist of the 1890s. This was an animal that had a skull that was both reptilian and mammalian. Some kind of horrid in between animal. Neither mammal nor reptile. In the era before the evolution theory was accepted...this animal looked like a defiance to the order of God's creations. There were fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. The five kingdoms of animal life. There should not be such a beast, a half reptile, half mammal. Like the gorgon half beast, half human. $\endgroup$
    – JayCkat
    Jan 9, 2017 at 0:41
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    $\begingroup$ Gorgon (via Latin from Greek Gorgō, from gorgos meaning ‘terrible') + opsid (Ancient Greek ὄψις (ópsis) for "appearance”) (often referring to the face). $\endgroup$ Nov 12, 2018 at 1:10


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