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Temporal range: Guadalupian, 260–251 Ma
Protorosaurus speneri.jpg
Fossil specimen, Teyler's Museum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Protorosauria
Family: Protorosauridae
Lydekker, 1888
Genus: Protorosaurus
von Meyer, 1830
Type species
Protorosaurus speneri
von Meyer, 1830

Protorosaurus ("first lizard"), a lizard-like reptile of the order Prolacertiformes, is the earliest known archosauromorph. It lived during the Late Permian period in Germany. In 1914, a new ceratopsian dinosaur found by Lawrence Lambe was again given the name Protorosaurus (in this sense meaning "before Torosaurus"). When Lambe found that the name had already been used for the early archosauromorph, he renamed his ceratopsian Chasmosaurus.

In Geopark of Paleorrota, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, 3 vertebrae and some bones of the animal were found.

Life restoration of Protorosaurus speneri

Protorosaurus grew up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) in length, and was a slender, lizard-like animal, with long legs and a long neck. Its body form suggests that it was fast-moving, although it may have fed primarily on insects.[1] Protorosaurus was closely related to Czatkowiella from the Early Triassic of Poland.[2]


  1. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 93. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 
  2. ^ Borsuk–Białynicka, M.; Evans, S.E. (2009). "A long–necked archosauromorph from the Early Triassic of Poland" (PDF). Palaeontologia Polonica 65: 203–234. 

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