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DD1991

Middle Triassic Lepidosaur

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DD1991

A new paper for anyone interested in the early evolution of lepidosaurs:

Marc E.H. Jones, Cajsa Lisa Anderson, Christy A. Hipsley, Johannes Müller, Susan E. Evans and Rainer R. Schoch, 2013 Integration of molecules and new fossils supports a Triassic origin for Lepidosauria (lizards, snakes, and tuatara). BMC Evolutionary Biology 2013, 13:208 doi:10.1186/1471-2148-13-208 http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/13/208/abstract

The rhynchocephalian jaw bone from Germany points to the first appearance of lepidosaurs in the Early-Middle Triassic, making Diphydontosaurus the second oldest lepidosaur known to science. This discovery also highlights a huge deficit in the knowledge of early lepidosaurs (the putative Triassic squamate Tikiguana was thought to be of Triassic age, but a recent analysis places it as an agamid, meaning that the only known fossil of Tikiguana was actually reworked from late Cenozoic deposits into Triassic deposits judging from its preservation and hence Tikiguana is not from the Triassic, but instead from the Cenozoic).

We've got some Triassic squamate hunt to do. Maybe there are some enigmatic diapsids from the Early-Middle Triassic that could be closely related to modern squamates and tuataras.

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