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Basal tetrapods revised with more taxa

Thursday, April 6, 2017 21:43
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(Before It's News)

Full resolution during a Heuristic search was not enough.
Full resolution with high Bootstrap scores was the goal. Reexamination of the data would hopefully get to that goal, as it did so many times before. Sometimes it takes awhile. It’s a learning process, and I learned a lot over the last several weeks, sometimes from difficult and scrappy data. Here’s the result:

Figure 1. Subset of the large reptile tree (LRT) focusing on basal tetrapods.

Some interesting results here. 

  1. Large temnospondyls are now split in two  (with, as before, many former small temnospondyls joining the equally small lepospondyls).
  2. Ichthyostega, now not so primitive, nests closer to Reptilomorpha.
  3. New reconstructions are offered for some taxa, like Tuditanus and Utaherpeton.
  4. Basal diplocaulids, like Keraterapeton, were added.
  5. Two taxa known as Trematosaurus, one with a shorter rostrum, one with a longer one, are split apart on the tree. Gavial-like snouts are not monophyletic.

Look for more basal tetrapods with legs, not fins in the Late Devonian.
Not sure where they are, but they are out there. .

In a few days
I’ll start with some of the interesting details as time allows, but basically this completes the task, the tree, and the broad strokes that hypothetically echo the origin of reptiles and the variation that followed thereafter.


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