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.
Generations of paleontologists have regarded turtles as outsiders among modern reptiles--holdovers from an ancient group called anapsids that lack holes in the sides of their skulls.
Turtles lack any such holes and so are the only living anapsids, a group that includes fossils of the most primitive vertebrates capable of living entirely on land.