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Temporal range: Late Permian - Late Triassic
Procolophon BW.jpg
Life restoration of Procolophon pricei from the Early Triassic of South Africa
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Clade: Parareptilia
Order: Procolophonomorpha
Superfamily: Procolophonoidea
Family: Procolophonidae
Seeley, 1888

See text.

  • Sclerosauridae Nopsca, 1923[1][2]

Procolophonidae is an extinct family of parareptiles from the Permian and Triassic periods.

They were shaped like stocky lizards, with broad-cheeked skulls. Their cheeks sported a stout backward-pointing spike. Hypsognathus, from North America, had many cheek spikes. Procolophon, the genus after which the group was named, is unusual. Their skulls resemble the turtles', sharing a posttemporal fenestra. Accordingly, they have historically been classed alongside the turtles under the Anapsida.

Up to the early Triassic, their teeth were sharp, indicating an insectivorous diet. Later in the Triassic their teeth became broader, indicating a switch to a herbivorous diet. They became extinct at the end of the Triassic.

Discoveries announced in 2008 suggest that these animals may have lived in Antarctica in the Early Triassic, and were thus among the earliest tetrapods in the Antarctic.[3]

Hypsognathus. Model in life size


Below is a cladogram from Ruta et al. (2011):[4]


Coletta seca

Pintosaurus magnidentis

Sauropareion anoplus

Kitchingnathus untabeni

Phaanthosaurus ignatjevi

Phaanthosaurus simus


Eumetabolodon dongshengensis

Theledectes perforatus

Tichvinskia vjatkensis


Pentaedrusaurus ordosianus

Neoprocolophon asiaticus

Sclerosaurus armatus

Scoloparia glyphanodon

Leptopleuron lacertinum

Soturnia caliodon

Hypsognathus fenneri


Eumetabolodon bathycephalus

Procolophon trigoniceps

Teratophon spinigenis

Thelerpeton oppressus

Timanophon raridentatus

Thelephon contritus

Anomoiodon liliensterni

Kapes amaenus

Kapes bentoni

Kapes komiensis

Kapes majmesculae


  1. ^ Cisneros, J. C. (2008). "Phylogenetic relationships of procolophonid parareptiles with remarks on their geological record". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 6 (3): 345–366. doi:10.1017/S1477201907002350.
  2. ^ Hans-Dieter Sues and Robert R. Reisz (2008). "Anatomy and Phylogenetic Relationships of Sclerosaurus armatus (Amniota: Parareptilia) from the Buntsandstein (Triassic) of Europe". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 28 (4): 1031–1042. doi:10.1671/0272-4634-28.4.1031.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Ruta, M.; Cisneros, J. C.; Liebrecht, T.; Tsuji, L. A.; Müller, J. (2011). "Amniotes through major biological crises: Faunal turnover among Parareptiles and the end-Permian mass extinction". Palaeontology. 54 (5): 1117–1137. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2011.01051.x.


  • Lambert, David (2001). Dinosaur Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 72.

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