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Turtle ancestry (somewhat off-topic)

"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
13980 Lyons Valley Road
Jamul, CA   91935.2024   USA
Jan. 1, 2001 is the new millennium--not 2000!
"To a person uninstructed in natural history, his country or seaside stroll
is like a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art,
nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall."  -T.H. Huxley
"A casual stroll though a lunatic asylum shows that faith doesn't prove
anything." -Nietzsche