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Re: Turtle ancestry (somewhat off-topic)



In a message dated 6/22/00 9:34:59 AM EST, kodiak@ohmaha.inetworld.net writes:

<< 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. >>

To this end, wait till you see the creature that Alex Downs has been working 
on from the Ghost Ranch Coelophysis blocks: it looks like an aetosaur with a 
toothed turtle's skull. Nearly complete skeleton a couple of feet long with 
most dermal armor in place. Don't know when he'll publish it, but it is 
forthcoming. Maybe turtles >are< highly derived archosaurs after all. Can say 
no more now.