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Re: Turtle ancestry (somewhat off-topic)




T.A.,
I think it was Rieppl who published something recently in Fieldiana (Geology) that relates to this. I haven't see this paper, but apparently he believes turtles are related to sauropterygian diapsids, and that turtle skulls may have evolved back to the anapsid condition secondarily (which would mean the taxon Anapsida is polyphyletic).
Very interesting indeed!
------Ken Kinman
*****************************************************
From: "T.A. Curtis" <kodiak@ohmaha.inetworld.net>
Reply-To: kodiak@ohmaha.inetworld.net
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Turtle ancestry (somewhat off-topic)
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 07:34:21 -0700

"Timothy Williams" <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com> wrote:

>Crocodiles are
>more closely related to birds than to turtles, yet the crocs are lumped in
>with the turtles.


      Actually, genetic sequencing seems to show that turtles are more
closely related to crocodiles than crocs are to birds.  (See "A Molecular
Phylogeny of Reptiles" by Hedges and Poling; Science v. 238, 12 February
1999.)  According to the study, birds split from the line leading to
turtles 228±10.3 MYA while turtles and crocs split just 207±20.5 MYA.
      How anapsid turtles would be clustered with diapsid crocs is
perplexing, to say the least.  But that's what's so fun about science.

      And now, back to dinosaurs. . .  :-)

T.A. Curtis
kodiak@mail.inetworld.net/619.669.1801
13980 Lyons Valley Road
Jamul, CA   91935.2024   USA
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