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RE: Turtles are parareptiles, and Eunotosaurus is their sister

> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] 
> On Behalf Of Dora Smith
> Turtles aren't reptiles, now.   The rest of it got lost in 
> the technical 
> language.  

Sorry, but really it isn't that technical...

> I'm afraid that was Eunotosaurus is doesn't tell 
> me much right 
> off the bat.   It doesn't sound like the term for "basal reptile".

Eunotosaurus, a Middle Permian South African reptile:

> Pretty soon, there will be no reptiles left that are reptiles.

Using the taxonomy in this paper Reptilia includes two major branches,
parareptiles and eureptiles. Parareptiles ("anapsids" of some useage) are a
group of mostly Permian and Triassic forms. Eureptiles are diapsids and
their closest relatives.

So turtles are still reptiles, but they are not closer to the
tuatara-lizard-snake lineage than to the alligator-bird lineage (both
alternatives had been proposed in recent years.)

> What's a crocodile; a paratherapod?

An archosaur.

> What about a snake?
A lepidosaur.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA