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Re: Turtle ancestry (somewhat off-topic)
In a message dated 6/22/00 9:34:59 AM EST, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.