Varanosaurus ('monitor lizard') is an extinct genus of early pelycosaur synapsid that was up to 1 m long that lived during early Permian (260 million years ago).

As its name implies, Varanosaurus looked very similar to present-day monitor lizards. It had a flattened, elongated skull and a pointed snout with a row of sharp teeth, including two pairs of conscipcuous pseudocanines. It was a small, nimble reptile, shown by its dentition to have been a predator.

Varanosaurus probably lived in swamps, competing with the larger Ophiacodon for food.


Benes, Josef. Prehistoric Animals and Plants. Pg. 90. Artia: Prague, 1979.

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