AskDefine | Define saurian

Dictionary Definition

saurian adj : of or relating to lizards [syn: lacertilian] n : any of various reptiles of the suborder Sauria which includes lizards; in former classifications included also the crocodiles and dinosaurs

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A reptile of the suborder Sauria; a lizard.


  1. Pertaining to the Sauria.
  2. Resembling a lizard.


Extensive Definition

Sauria is a clade of reptiles that includes all living diapsids, as well as their common ancestor and all its extinct descendants. The ancestral saurian was probably a small lizard-like creature living in the Permian Period. This crown group is diagnosed by a number of details in skull and skeleton, and comprises the two important clades Lepidosauromorpha and Archosauromorpha.
The term "Sauria" has previously been used as a synonym of Lacertilia, a suborder of Squamata that includes all lizards but excludes snakes. This classification is rarely used today because as Sauria so-defined is a paraphyletic group.


  • Callaway, J.M. (1997), Ichthyosauria: Introduction, in JM Callaway & EL Nicholls (eds.), Ancient Marine Reptiles. Academic Press, pp. 3-16.

External links

saurian in Catalan: Saure
saurian in Modern Greek (1453-): Σαύρα
saurian in French: Sauria
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