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Bradysaurus (Wikimedia Commons)


Bradysaurus (Greek for "Brady's lizard"); pronounced BRAY-dee-SORE-us


Swamps of southern Africa

Historical Period

Late Permian (260 million years ago)

Size and Weight

About 6 feet long and 1,000-2,000 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics

Bulky torso; short tail


About Bradysaurus

First things first: while it's amusing to imagine otherwise, Bradysaurus has nothing to do with the classic TV series The Brady Bunch (or the two subsequent movies), but was simply named after the man who discovered it. Essentially, this was a classic pareiasaur, a thick, squat, small-brained reptile of the Permian period that weighed as much as a small car and was presumably much slower. What makes Bradysaurus important is that it's the most basal pareiasaur yet discovered, kind of a template for the next few million years of pareiasaur evolution (and, considering how little these reptiles managed to evolve before they went extinct, that's not saying much!)


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