Compared to their pelycosaurian ancestors, early therapsids had very similar skulls but very different post-cranial morphology.
Legs and feet
Therapsid legs were positioned more vertically beneath their bodies than were the sprawling legs of reptiles and pelycosaurs. Also compared to these groups, the feet were more symmetrical, with the first and last toes short and the middle toes long, an indication that the foot's axis was placed parallel to that of the animal, not sprawling out sideways. This orientation would have given a more mammal-like gait than the lizard-like gait of the pelycosaurs.
Jaw and teeth
Therapsids' temporal fenestrae were larger than those of the pelycosaurs. The jaws of some therapsids were more complex and powerful, and the teeth were differentiated into frontal incisors for nipping, great lateral canines for puncturing and tearing, and molars for shearing and chopping food.
Fur and endothermy
Several characteristics in therapsids have been noted as being consistent with the development of endothermy: the presence of turbinates, erect limbs, highly vascularized bones, limb and tail proportions conducive to the preservation of body heat, and the absence of growth rings in bones. Therefore, like modern mammals, non-mammalian therapsids were most likely warm-blooded.
Recent studies on Permian coprolites showcase that hair was present in at least some therapsids. Hair is by any means present in the docodont Castorocauda and several contemporary haramiyidans, and whiskers are inferred from therocephalians and cynodonts.