(Guardian of the night).
Named By: I. A. Efremov - 1938.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Procolophonomorpha, Nyctiphruretia, Nyctiphruretidae.
Species: N. acudens (type), N. optabilis.
Size: About 40 centimetres long, depending upon the individual.
Known locations: Russia.
Time period: Wordian of the Permian.
Fossil representation: Literally dozens of individuals representing various growth stages.
Nyctiphruretus is a contender for one of the coolest names of any prehistoric animal since the name translates to English as ‘guardian of the night’. Nyctiphruretus was an herbivorous procolophonomorph, that seems to have had a preference for plants that were either aquatic, or growing in wetlands. This is because all of the known remains of Nyctiphruretus have come from sediments associated with aquatic environments. Fossils of nearly a hundred specimens of Nyctiphruretus have so far been recovered, and all but one of these are referable to the type species, N. acudens. The second species named in 2002, N. optabilis, was named upon the basis of a single jaw.
- Some New Permian Reptiles of the USSR. - Comptes Rendus (Doklady) de l'Académie des Sciences de l'URSS 19(9):771-776 - I. A. Efremov - 1938.
- New data on procolophons from the Permian of Eastern Europe. - Paleontological Journal 36: 525–530. - V. V. bulanov - 2002.
- The phylogenetic position of Nyctiphruretus acudens, a parareptile from the Permian of Russia. - Journal of Iberian Geology 36 (2): 123–143. - Laura K. Säilä - 2010.