A Molecular Phylogeny of Reptiles

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Science  12 Feb 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5404, pp. 998-1001
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5404.998

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The classical phylogeny of living reptiles pairs crocodilians with birds, tuataras with squamates, and places turtles at the base of the tree. New evidence from two nuclear genes, and analyses of mitochondrial DNA and 22 additional nuclear genes, join crocodilians with turtles and place squamates at the base of the tree. Morphological and paleontological evidence for this molecular phylogeny is unclear. Molecular time estimates support a Triassic origin for the major groups of living reptiles.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed at 208 Mueller Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA. E-mail: sbh1{at}

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