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Re: Reptilian Subclass Parareptilia?



> Patrick,
>      This is indeed a confusing mess, and until the origins of turtles (in
> particular) are cleared up, it is going to remain that way.  So you were
> correct in surmising that there is no simple answer.
>      The three main competing phylogenies seem to be: (1) parareptiles
> include turtles, but exclude Mesosauridae; (2) parareptiles include
> Mesosauridae, but exclude turtles; and (3) parareptiles (sensu stricto)
> exclude both mesosaurs and turtles.   If you had the fourth possibility
> (they include both mesosaurs and turtles), I think many workers would just
> call them Anapsida.

The fourth possibility does exist, AFAIK, and is used in the *Eudibamus*
paper. Usually if you think the group includes turtles you call it Anapsida
and otherwise Parareptilia. The _existence_ of such a group is widely,
probably universally recognized, just not whether it includes turtles.
Calling it a subclass or whatever is not widely recognized, see below.

The name Parareptilia "at the side of/parallel to reptiles" was chosen
because it is the sister group to a clade sometimes called Eureptilia "real
reptiles" (which includes all other "reptiles", except the "mammal-like"
ones, and birds). Together they form a clade that is sometimes called
Reptilia (IMHO Sauropsida is preferable, but that's irrelevant here) which
is why their names were chosen. I hope I don't tell you what you already
know :-)

Romer's scheme is not cladistic and very old, so far as to be largely
useless in certain parts. It is sort of classic.

>      I personally don't recognize formal intermediate taxa (like
> subclasses), and this situation is a very good example why.

I personally (like an increasing number of people that is apparently
particularly high onlist) don't recognize any ranks for largely the same
reason... :-)