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synapsid in Science
A reptile with one temporal opening on each side of the skull. Synapsids evolved in the late Permian Period and were characterized by carrying their limbs under their body and developing front teeth that were different from their back teeth. One group of synapsids, the therapsids, gave rise to the mammals. Compare anapsid, diapsid, therapsid.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Historical Examples
  • Their remains fall into two great groups, which are known as the Diapsid and the synapsid reptiles.

    The Story of Evolution Joseph McCabe
  • A few years ago a Permian bed in Russia yielded a most interesting series of remains of synapsid reptiles.

    The Story of Evolution Joseph McCabe

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