Science Dictionary
cotylosaur   (kŏt'l-ə-sôr')  Pronunciation Key 
Any of a number of extinct reptiles of the group Cotylosauria or Captorhinida of the Carboniferous and Permian Periods that include the ancestors of all terrestrial vertebrates except for amphibians. Cotylosaurs evolved from early amphibians, had four sprawling legs and a long tail, and a skull without temporal openings. Also called stem reptile.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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