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|Title:||Tikiguania and the antiquity of squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes)|
|Citation:||Biology Letters, 2012; 8(4):665-669|
|Publisher:||The Royal Society|
|Mark N. Hutchinson, Adam Skinner and Michael S. Y. Lee|
|Abstract:||Tikiguania estesi is widely accepted to be the earliest member of Squamata, the reptile group that includes lizards and snakes. It is based on a lower jaw from the Late Triassic of India, described as a primitive lizard related to agamids and chamaeleons. However, Tikiguania is almost indistinguishable from living agamids; a combined phylogenetic analysis of morphological and molecular data places it with draconines, a prominent component of the modern Asian herpetofauna. It is unlikely that living agamids have retained the Tikiguania morphotype unchanged for over 216 Myr; it is much more conceivable that Tikiguania is a Quaternary or Late Tertiary agamid that was preserved in sediments derived from the Triassic beds that have a broad superficial exposure. This removes the only fossil evidence for lizards in the Triassic. Studies that have employed Tikiguana for evolutionary, biogeographical and molecular dating inferences need to be reassessed.|
|Keywords:||reptilia; agamidae; chamaeleonidae; palaeontology; phylogeny|
|Rights:||© 2012 The Royal Society|
|Appears in Collections:||Earth and Environmental Sciences publications|
Environment Institute publications
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