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Temporal range: Late Permian–Late Triassic
Procolophon BW.jpg
Procolophon pricei from the Early Triassic of South Africa
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Clade: Parareptilia
Order: Procolophonomorpha
Family: Procolophonidae
Subfamily: Procolophoninae
Genus: Procolophon
Type species
Procolophon trigoniceps
Owen, 1876
  • P. brasiliensis
  • P. pricei
  • P. trigoniceps

Procolophon was a genus of lizard-like procolophonid reptiles with at least eight species that persisted through the Permian–Triassic extinction event, but became extinct in the later Triassic.



Procolophon reached a length up to 30 cm.[1] The skull was solid but some species did evolve a temporal fenestra in the skull independently of other reptiles. There was one backward facing cheek spike, but its function is debated; it may have been for muscle attachment. Eyes were large and may have had acute day or night vision. The teeth were peg-like and suitable for crushing of plant matter. The front of the skull was short and blunt with the nasal opening very close to the mouth.

The vertebrae were robust with a rounded rib cage composed of many small weak ribs. Legs were short, thickly built with short phalanges; this suggests an animal that burrowed and did not run fast.


P. brasiliensis[edit]

P. brasiliensis is distinguished from other representatives of the genus by the character of the dentition and vomeronasal. It was found in Brazil, in the geopark of Paleorrota in the Sanga do Cabral Formation.

P. pricei[edit]

P. pricei has been found in South Africa, Antarctica, and Brazil, where it is known from the geopark of Paleorrota, in the Sanga do Cabral Formation of the municipality of Dilermando de Aguiar. It lived during the Early Triassic (about 250 to 240 million years).

P. trigoniceps[edit]

P. trigoniceps has been found in South Africa, Antarctica and Brazil; in the Geopark of Paleorrota in the Sanga do Cabral Formation.