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The earliest marine reptiles arose in the Permian period during the Paleozoic era. During the Mesozoic era, many groups of reptiles became adapted to life in the seas, including such familiar clades as the ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs (these two orders were once thought united in the group "Enaliosauria," a classification now cladistically obsolete), mosasaurs, nothosaurs, placodonts, sea turtles, thalattosaurs and thalattosuchians.
Some marine reptiles, such as ichthyosaurs and mosasaurs, rarely ventured onto land and gave birth in the water. Others, such as sea turtles and saltwater crocodiles, return to shore to lay their eggs. Some marine reptiles also occasionally rest and bask on land.
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