anapsid


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anapsid

a member of the Anapsida, a group of reptiles in which the skull lacks a temporal FOSSA. The Anapsida include Seymouria, tortoises and turtles.
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All reptiles living today are diapsid, with the exception of turtles, previously thought to be anapsid, making them the only living primitive reptiles.
When all of the data -- much of it provided by deBraga, whose research focuses on Paleozoic reptiles -- was crunched through the computer, "we found that turtles flipped from anapsid to diapsid," Rieppel explains.
According to the standard evolutionary story, turtles retain some characteristics of the ancient anapsids.