The reptile group that was to dominate the Mesozoic era had its origins in the Carboniferous period and went on to develop into a number of specialist forms in the Permian. These were the diapsids, those with two holes for muscle attachment in the skull behind the eyes. However, at the time, the group was insignificant compared with the other large creatures that were around. realistic dinosaur costume
The oldest known diapsid was Petrolacosaurus from the late Carboniferous of Kansas, USA. Its close relative, Araeoscelis, from the early Permian of Texas, USA, was a similar animal but had a more highly adapted dentition. They were both small lizard-like animals, as were the early examples of all the reptile groups.
Features:The front and back legs are quite long but are the same length – an unspecialized condition. The teeth are massive, blunt and conical, probably adapted for crushing the hard carapaces of insects. One of the pairs of holes in the skull is closed over with bone, presumably to anchor stronger jaw muscles.
The diapsids quickly adapted to all sorts of lifestyles in all sorts of environments. Coelurosauravtis was the earliest gliding vertebrate known. The wing arrangement was so unusual that a researcher in the 1920s removed the wing hones from an early specimen thinking that they were parts of a fish skeleton that had become mixed up with it. It became extinct at the very end of the Permian during the great mass-extinction of that time. animatronic dinsoaur
Features:Coelurosauravus has wings formed from extra struts of hollow bone, about two dozen to each side, that grew from the skin of the sides, and these supported a web of skin (called a patagium). This is similar to that of later reptiles such as Icarosaurus and Khuneosaurus and even the modern Draco, the flying dragon of South-east Asia. Half of its length was made up of a long tail that probably stabilized it in flight. The smooth head with the frill around the rear edge of the skull may have helped to streamline Coelurosauravus while it glided from tree to tree or from cliff-face to cliff-face.