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Amniote phylogeny and the position of turtles

S Blair Hedges

Author affiliations

Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802-5301, USA

Citation and License

BMC Biology 2012, 10:64  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-10-64

Published: 27 July 2012


The position of turtles among amniotes remains in dispute, with morphological and molecular comparisons giving different results. Morphological analyses align turtles with either lizards and their relatives, or at the base of the reptile tree, whereas molecular analyses, including a recent study by Chiari et al. in BMC Biology, place turtles with birds and crocodilians. Molecular studies have not wavered as the numbers of genes and species have increased, but morphologists have been reluctant to embrace the molecular tree.

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