Varanosaurus

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Varanosaurus
Temporal range: Early Permian, 280 Ma
Varanosaurus.jpg
Varanosaurus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Family: Ophiacodontidae
Genus: Varanosaurus
Broili, 1904
Type species
Varanosaurus acutirostris
Broili, 1904
Species[1]
  • V. acutirostris Broili 1904 (type)
  • V. wichitaensis Romer 1937

Varanosaurus ('monitor lizard') is an extinct genus of early pelycosaur synapsid that lived during the Kungurian.[2]

Varanosaurus acutirostris

Description[edit]

Life reconstruction of Varanosaurus
Varanosaurus acutirostris being devoured by Dimetrodon limbatus

As its name implies, Varanosaurus may have looked superficially similar to present-day monitor lizards.[citation needed]

Varanosaurus was a small, nimble synapsid and grew up to 1–1.5 m in length with a skull length 14 cm long.[2] It had a flattened, elongated skull and a pointed snout with a row of sharp teeth, including two pairs of conspicuous pseudocanines, implying that it was an active predator.[3]

Varanosaurus probably lived in swamps, competing with the larger Ophiacodon for food.[citation needed]

Classification[edit]

Below is a cladogram modified from the analysis of Benson (2012):[4]



Tseajaia campi



Limnoscelis paludis


Amniota


Captorhinus spp.



Protorothyris archeri



Synapsida


Caseasauria




Ianthodon schultzei




Edaphosauridae



Sphenacodontia







Varanopidae


Ophiacodontidae

Archaeothyris florensis




Varanosaurus acutirostris




Ophiacodon spp.



Stereophallodon ciscoensis









See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Varanosaurus". Fossilworks. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Varanosaurus". Prehistoric Wildlife. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 187. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 
  4. ^ Benson, R.J. (2012). "Interrelationships of basal synapsids: cranial and postcranial morphological partitions suggest different topologies". Journal of Systematic Paleontology. in press (4): 601. doi:10.1080/14772019.2011.631042. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Benes, Josef. Prehistoric Animals and Plants. Pg. 90. Artia: Prague, 1979.