The term Prehistoric reptile covers a broad category that is intended to help distinguish them from the dinosaurs, which were also considered reptiles, but because of their large and successful reign for many millions of years, are almost exclusively dealt with in their own category of prehistoric life.

The category covers all the non-dinosaurian reptiles which are often erroneously considered to be dinosaurs, such as the sea faring varieties of plesiosaurs and the flying pterosaurs. Also included are ancient crocodiles such as Deinosuchus. For information on the mammal-like "reptiles" (therapsids) and other species often erroneously considered reptiles (including the sail-backed Dimetrodon), see Synapsid.

List of prehistoric reptiles by group

Early reptiles

Early anapsids

Turtles, tortoises and terrapins

Early diapsids


Plesiosaurs, placodonts, and nothosaurs

Snakes and lizards

Early archosaurs


Flying reptiles (Pterosaurs)

See also

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