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Re: Frankenstein's Papers



As already found by Joyce (2008, Peabody Museum Bulletin, testudinate phylogeny) and predicted by Joyce & Sterli (2007, Acta Pal. Pol., redescription of *Kayentachelys* showing the absence of testudine features).

That's Joyce (2007) and Sterli & Joyce (2007), respectively.

Sterli (2008) took the analysis by Joyce (2007), replaced the all-zero outgroup (!) by four real taxa (the procolophonoid *Owenetta*, the pareiasaur *Anthodon*, the sauropterygian *Simosaurus*, and *Sphenodon*), unfortunately specified that outgroup to be monophyletic (!) before the analysis (or at least I can't explain the tree otherwise), and added a few taxa and characters. Result:

--+--+--*Owenetta*
 |  |--*Anthodon*
 |  `--+--*Simosaurus*
 |     `--*Sphenodon*
 `--Testudinata
      |--*Proganochelys*
      `--+--+--*Palaeochersis*
         |  `--*Australochelys*
         `--+--*Proterochersis*
            `--+--*Kayentachelys*
               |--*Condorchelys*
               |--*Indochelys*
               |--*Heckerochelys*
               `--+--+--*Meiolania platyceps*
                  |  `--*Mongolochelys*
                  `--+--*Kallokibotion*
                     `--Testudines

The tree within Testudines apparently hasn't changed -- it isn't shown anywhere, not even in the supplementary information.

ScienceNOW has a short report on this paper that has Gaffney saying he doesn't believe it and thinks *Condorchelys* is a cryptodire (in other words, that the *Proterochersis* node is Testudines -- this is the view he founded in 1975). His reasons are not given.

The perhaps most important result by Joyce (2007) was that the position of Pleurodira in the turtle tree is surprisingly unstable...