Monday, October 07, 2013
Turtles are more closely related to Crocodiles than Lizards!
CREDIT: G. GRULLÓN/SCIENCE
The orange line shows where turtles actually belong in this part of the tree of life, the dashed lines indicate previous suggestions.
New DNA techniques have recently been developed to more easily determine where species belong in the tree of life. See Large-Scale Gene Comparisons Boost Tree of Life Studies in Science. As you may have heard, birds and dinosaurs are closely related. Moving further up the tree, Archosaurs are a group that contain birds, dinosaurs and crocodiles as well as the extinct flying reptiles, the Pterosaurs. Thanks to this new research, turtles are now known to be the sister group to the archosaurs.
A red-eared slider.