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TOITLES (NYUCK NYUCK NYUCK NYUCK)
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!
Contrary to the Hedges and Poling study where turtles are archosaurian
archosauromorphs, M. deBraga and Rieppel (1997) in ZJLS find that turtles
(Testudines) are lepidosauromorphs, showing a sister-group relationship to
Sauropterygia. Either way, turtles are diapsids, and derived neodiapsids at
that. The other view of Michael Lee (publishing in the same ZJLS) is that
turtles are parareptiles derived from paraphyletic parieasaurs.
If Hedges and Poling or deBraga and Rieppel are right, then the studies of
amniote phylogeny by Gauthier et al. in the late 80s are wrong and we have
no living basal sauropsids, they all dies with the rest of the parareptiles.
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