An illustration of Araeoscelis, an extinct reptile-like animal, shown in a running pose. It resembles a lizard, with a fairly small head, a mid-length neck, a slender body, long legs with five clawed toes each, and a long tapering tail. It's depicted as greyish-colored transitioning to reddish-brown on its back, with dark striped markings all over its body and bright blue on its throat.

Araeoscelis gracilis was a superficially lizard-like animal that lived during the mid-Permian, around 275 million years ago, in what is now Texas, USA. About 60cm long (~2′), it had a slender body, proportionally long legs, and a solidly-built skull with strong teeth, suggesting that it was a fast runner that specialized in cracking open the carapaces of thick-shelled prey.

It was one of the last known members of a lineage known as araeoscelidians, which are usually considered to be very early members of the diapsid reptiles – but a recent study has proposed they might have even more ancient roots than that, possibly being a branch of stemamniotes instead.

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