Synapsids[a]—not to be confused with therapsids,[b] which are a subordinate group to synapsids—are a group of animals that includes mammals and every animal more closely related to mammals than to the other members of the amnioteclade, such as reptiles and birds. They are easily separated from other amniotes by having a temporal fenestra, an opening low in the skull roof behind each eye, leaving a bony arch beneath each; this accounts for their name. Primitive synapsids are usually called pelycosaurs or pelycosaur-grade synapsids. This informal term consists of all synapsids that are not therapsids, a monophyletic, more advanced, mammal-like group. The non-mammalian synapsids were described as mammal-like reptiles in classical systematics, but this misleading terminology is no longer in use as synapsids as a whole are no longer considered reptiles. They are now more correctly referred to as stem mammals or proto-mammals.
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