- Noun Plural
A comprehensive group of vertebrates, comprising the reptiles and birds.
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Sauropsida ("lizard faces") is a taxonomic clade that consists of reptiles, birds, and the extinct Parareptilia. All living sauropsids are members of the subgroup Diapsida, the Parareptilia having died out 200 million years ago. The term originated in 1864 with Thomas Henry Huxley, who grouped birds with reptiles based on fossil evidence. Sauropsids are the sister taxon to synapsids (often mistakenly referred to as "mammal-like reptiles", as synapsids are not reptiles), some of which later evolved into mammals.