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Temporal range: Late Eocene, 37.2–33.9 Ma
Necrosaurus cayluxensis.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Palaeovaranidae
Georgalis, 2017
Genus: Palaeovaranus
Zittel, 1887
Type species
Palaeovaranus cayluxi
Zittel, 1887
Other species
  • Palaeovaranus giganteus
    (Kuhn, 1940)


  • "Palaeosaurus"
    Filhol, 1873 (preoccupied)
  • Necrosaurus Filhol, 1876
  • Melanosauroides Kuhn, 1940

P. cayluxi

  • "Palaeosaurus" cayluxi
    Filhol, 1873
  • Necrosaurus cayluxi
    Filhol, 1876

P. giganteus

  • Melanosauroides giganteus
    Kuhn, 1940
  • Melanosauroides maximus
    McDowell & Bogert, 1954 (lapsus calami)

Palaeovaranus is an extinct genus of varanoid lizards from the Late Eocene of France and Germany.[1] It contains two species, Palaeovaranus cayluxensis[2][3] and Palaeovaranus giganteus (formerly assigned to a separate genus Melanosauroides). The genus was first named by Henri Filhol in 1877, but he had named the species Palaeovaranus cuxleyi earlier as Palaeosaurus cuxleyi in 1873, and as Necrosaurus cuxleyi in 1876 after it was discovered that Palaeosaurus was preoccupied. However, he failed to provide any kind of valid description, which renders Karl Alfred Ritter von Zittel's 1887 description of the taxon as the valid authority on its validity. Despite this, the name Necrosaurus was widely used in the literature afterwards.[1]


  1. ^ a b Georgalis, G.L. (2017). "Necrosaurus or Palaeovaranus? Appropriate nomenclature and taxonomic content of an enigmatic fossil lizard clade (Squamata)". Annales de Paléontologie. in press (4): 293–303. doi:10.1016/j.annpal.2017.10.001.
  2. ^ "†Necrosaurus cayluxi Filhol 1873 (lizard)". Fossilworks. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Squamata: Scleroglossa". Palaeos. Retrieved 9 December 2014.