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Temporal range: Late Carboniferous, 312 Ma
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Amniota
Clade: Synapsida (?)
Genus: Protoclepsydrops
Carroll, 1964
Type species
Protoclepsydrops haplous
Carroll, 1964

Protoclepsydrops was an early amniote, found in Joggins, Nova Scotia.[1]


Like Archaeothyris, Protoclepsydrops resembled modern lizards. However, Protoclepsydrops still had primitive vertebrae with tiny neural processes typical of the amniotes' amphibian ancestors.


Its skeletal remains indicate that it may have been more closely related to synapsids than to sauropsids, making it a possible synapsid member. If so, it is the oldest synapsid known, though its status is unconfirmed because its remains were fragmentary. Protoclepsydrops lived slightly earlier than Archaeothyris.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Carroll, Robert L. (1964). "The earliest reptiles". Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology. 45 (304): 61–83. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.1964.tb00488.x. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Benton M.J. and Donoghue P.C.J. 2006. Palaeontological evidence to date the tree of life. Molecular biology and evolution. 24(1): 26–53. [1]

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