Temporal range: Late Carboniferous - Middle Permian,
Fossil skeleton of Varanops brevirostris in the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Amniota
Family: Varanopidae
Romer and Price, 1940

See below

Varanopidae is an extinct family of amniotes that resembled monitor lizards and may have filled a similar niche, hence the name. Typically, they are considered synapsids that evolved from an Archaeothyris-like synapsid in the Late Carboniferous. However, some recent studies have recovered them being taxonomically closer to diapsid reptiles.[1][2][3] A varanopid from the latest Middle Permian Pristerognathus Assemblage Zone is the youngest known varanopid and the last member of the "pelycosaur" group of synapsids.[4]

  1. ^ Ford, David P.; Benson, Roger B. J. (2018). "A redescription of Orovenator mayorum (Sauropsida, Diapsida) using high‐resolution μCT, and the consequences for early amniote phylogeny". Papers in Palaeontology. 5 (2): 197–239. doi:10.1002/spp2.1236. S2CID 92485505.
  2. ^ Modesto, Sean P. (January 2020). "Rooting about reptile relationships". Nature Ecology & Evolution. 4 (1): 10–11. doi:10.1038/s41559-019-1074-0. ISSN 2397-334X. PMID 31900449. S2CID 209672518.
  3. ^ MacDougall, Mark J.; Modesto, Sean P.; Brocklehurst, Neil; Verrière, Antoine; Reisz, Robert R.; Fröbisch, Jörg (2018). "Commentary: A Reassessment of the Taxonomic Position of Mesosaurs, and a Surprising Phylogeny of Early Amniotes". Frontiers in Earth Science. 6. doi:10.3389/feart.2018.00099. ISSN 2296-6463.
  4. ^ Modesto, S.P.; Smith, R.M.H.; Campione, N.E.; Reisz, R.R. (2011). "The last "pelycosaur": a varanopid synapsid from the Pristerognathus Assemblage Zone, Middle Permian of South Africa". Naturwissenschaften. 98 (12): 1027–1034. Bibcode:2011NW.....98.1027M. doi:10.1007/s00114-011-0856-2. PMID 22009069. S2CID 27865550.

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