Definition of pelycosaur in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈpɛlɪkəsɔː/


A large fossil reptile of the late Carboniferous and Permian periods, typically having a line of long bony spines along the back supporting a sail-like crest.
  • Order Pelycosauria, subclass Synapsida: several families and genera, including Dimetrodon and Edaphosaurus.
Example sentences
  • Between the Carboniferous pelycosaurs and the first Jurassic mammals, the jaw articulation changed.
  • A characteristic pelycosaur was Dimetrodon, a large predator from the Permian of Texas.
  • Nevertheless these primitive animals were more advanced on the road the to mammalian evolution, and, like the pelycosaurs, diverged along several lines as herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores.


Late 19th century: from Greek pelux, peluk- 'bowl' + sauros 'lizard'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pelyco|saur

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.