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RE: pterofuzz and feathers
Anthony Docimo wrote:
> aren't "lizards" paraphyletic?
The traditional/Linnaean concept of Lacertilia ("lizards") was certainly
paraphyletic, given that it was a group that excluded snakes
(Ophidia/Serpentes) and amphisbaenians. This was typological thinking at work:
extant snakes and amphisbaenians look _so_ much different to lizards, so each
was awarded its own "suborder" inside Squamata.
Phylogenetic taxonomy now recognizes that snakes and amphisbaenians are nested
inside the traditional "lizards" (collectively speaking). Thus (according to
at least one morphology-based phylogeny) clade Squamata is subdivided into
clades such as Iguania (basal, among crown squamates), Pythonomorpha
(mosasaurs, snakes, etc), and Autarchoglossa (skinks, monitors, gekkos,
chameleons, amphisbaenians, and so on). Molecular studies resolve squamate
interrelationships very differently; but snakes and amphisbaenians are still
nested inside various "lizard" clades.
I would suppose David Peters is using the term "lizards" as a vernacular term
for Squamata. Of course, in no way do I endorse his view that pterosaurs are
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