Paleothyris was a primitive reptile that lived during the Carboniferous period, perhaps around 300 million years
ago in North America (fossils of the animal were discovered
in Nova Scotia, Canada). At the time of writing,
it is probably the earliest known amniote (tetrapod vertebrates with a terrestrially adapted egg - the group which
includes reptiles, birds, mammal-like reptiles, and mammals).
Paleothyris was about 1 foot (30 centimeters) long and outwardly resembled a lizard (the animal's colors are not
known, and the colors shown in the picture above are however speculations based on modern lizards). However anatomically,
Paleothyris did not have the openings in its skull (fenestrae) that are found in lizards and most other amniotes
(today, the only surviving amniotes without fenestrae are turtles and tortoises).
Paleothyris had large eyes aand is therefore thought to have been a noctural (at night). It had sharp teeth, and scientists speculate it probably lived on forest floors. It is thought that perhaps it hunted insects, and, maybe other small animals as well.
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