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The group of Sauropsida belongs to the vertebrates and contains all reptiles and birds. They are distinguished from the Synapsida which contain the mammals.The two groups split in the upper Carboniferous period. The Sauropsida were dominant in the Mesozoic, while Synapsida were dominant in the Cenozoic, after the extinction of the dinosaurs. The Sauropsida can be subdivided into the Anapsida and the Diapsida, recognized by the the shape of the holes in the skull.

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