Nyctiphruretus acudens -Efremov, 1938- skeleton
Parareptilia: Procolophonia: Nyctiphruretidae
Locality: Mezen River, Arkhangelsk Region, northern European Russia
Age: Late Permian, 260 million years ago
In the Paleozoic, the appearance of the land as a whole was very different today, and
the terrestrial tetrapods inhabited unusual environments, with no modern analogues.
These "extinct landscapes" existed in the huge megacontinents, southern Gondwana
and northern Laurasia, separated by the ancient ocean Tethys.
On the continents the high mountain ridges were surrounded the
lowlands which were flooded by warm shallow seas.
There were open empty areas in the highlands, where high forests rustle now.
Inasmuch as there was no grassy vegetation in that ancient time,
turf that could absorb rain water and hold the soil together was absent too.
Rain water flowed down from the highlands and spilled onto the flat swamplands,
partially overgrown by the huge rushlike plants of the genus Calamites.
The coasts of numerous shallow lakes, covered by a soft dirt,
were inhabited by ancient animals.
In the early Late Permian such a swampland existed in what is now East Europe
around an extensive shallow gulf of the Boreal Ocean.
This gulf is called the East European Sea. Its western coast was a very broad
flattened lowland flooded from time to time by high sea tides.
This area has yielded many specimens of the small lizard-like procolophon
Nyctiphruretus, hundreds of skeletons of which have been found in all stages of growth.
Nyctiphruretus fed on water vegetation and prefered the coastal environments.