An introduction to the ‘mammal-like reptiles’ that walked the Earth millions of years before the dinosaurs – and from which all modern-day mammals would eventually evolve.
- Early reptiles split into two evolutionary branches: sauropsids, or "true reptiles", and synapsids, or "mammal-like reptiles".
- Dimetrodon and other sail-backed synapsids could maintain a steady body temperature by controlling blood flow to their sails.
- Mammals evolved from a group of synapsids called the therapsids.
- While most mammals evolved to give birth to live young, some continue to lay eggs.
280 million years ago
This is Dimetrodon – a fearsome predator that walked the Earth millions of years before the first dinosaurs. Despite its appearance, its closest living relatives aren’t lizards, crocodiles or other reptiles but mammals.
Evolution of Mammals
Millions of years earlier, as early amphibians adapted to life on land and ...
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