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TOITLES (NYUCK NYUCK NYUCK NYUCK)




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


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.

Matt Troutman
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