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Varanops is an extinct genus of Early Permian varanopid synapsids known from Texas and Oklahoma of the United States.It was first named by Samuel Wendell Williston in 1911 as a second species of Varanosaurus, Varanosaurus brevirostris. brevirostris is known from the holotype FMNH UC 644, a three-dimensionally preserved nearly complete and articulated skeleton including a nearly complete skull and mandibles.It was collected in the Indian Creek, 35 site (=Cacops Bonebed), from the Arroyo Formation of the Clear Fork Group, Baylor County of Texas, dating to the early Kungurian stage of the Cisuralian Epoch, about 279.5-272.5 million years ago. brevirostris were also collected in the Richards Spur, from the Garber Formation (Dolese Brothers Limestone Quarry) of the Sumner Group, Comanche County of Oklahoma, dating to the same age.

When Abilene, then 12, heard the news from her grandmother that day in 1963, she was terrified: ‘My grandmomma September 4, 2011 From Sharon Churcher in Jackson, Mississippi told us all we had to protect us was God and prayer,’ she says.

‘There weren’t no coloured policemen.’A careworn, heavyset woman who has been working as a maid for white families in Jackson since she was 13, Abilene says: ‘My brothers were involved in the civil rights protests and my daddy feared for our lives and my momma walked around praying.

The 42-year-old author has said she started to write The Help in New York, but Abilene does not claim she told the author her life story. She said, “I’m Rob’s baby sister,’’ and I said, “I’m Abilene.” ‘The second time she was married and she came with her husband and daughter. I just used people I knew.’She says, “Kathryn’s wrote a book and you are the main character.

Rob told her not to use your name.” ’ Then a copy of the book arrived for Abilene from the author with a note saying that while a main character is an ‘African-American child carer named Aibileen’, she bore no resemblance to the real Abilene.

There’s nothing unusual about such compensation claims in America, but what makes Abilene’s writ different is that she is claiming just £50,000 in damages, hardly a fortune when set against the millions the author will earn from the book and the movie deal. It makes them feel good because it’s about a white woman who reaches across the racial divide to help poor black servants.

Abilene’s lawyer, Edward Sanders, says: ‘It’s not about money for Abilene. The sensitivities about race in Mississippi cannot be over-estimated even today.It was one of many agile, voracious predators among pelycosaurs.Even though it was large for its time, Varanops was very small compared to the dinosaurs. Reisz in 2010 suggests that Varanops is a derived varanodontine, sister taxon to the clade formed by Varanodon and Watongia.Stockett contended in her note that she modelled Aibileen on a long-dead black maid called Demetrie who worked for the author’s family in Jackson: ‘The Help is purely fiction and the character was loosely inspired by my own relationship with Demetrie.’ Despite going to the trouble of sending the maid the book and the note, the author is airily dismissive of Abilene’s claim.‘If I add it up, the number of seconds where we’ve seen each other would be maybe ten or 15,’ she says.‘I met her twice.’ In New York, perhaps, such a response would be acceptable, but not here.

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