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Science. 1999 Feb 12;283(5404):998-1001.

A molecular phylogeny of reptiles.

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Department of Biology, Institute of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics, and Astrobiology Research Center, 208 Mueller Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


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.

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