Just out | Evolution of developmental sequences in lepidosaurs @ Peer J

Just out @ PeerJ

Evolution of developmental sequences in lepidosaurs


Tomasz Skawiński, Bartosz Borczyk



Lepidosaurs, a group including rhynchocephalians and squamates, are one of the major clades of extant vertebrates. Although there has been extensive phylogenetic work on this clade, its interrelationships are a matter of debate. Morphological and molecular data suggest very different relationships within squamates. Despite this, relatively few studies have assessed the utility of other types of data for inferring squamate phylogeny.


We used developmental sequences of 20 events in 29 species of lepidosaurs. These sequences were analysed using event-pairing and continuous analysis. They were transformed into cladistic characters and analysed in TNT. Ancestral state reconstructions were performed on two main phylogenetic hypotheses of squamates (morphological and molecular).


Cladistic analyses conducted using characters generated by these methods do not resemble any previously published phylogeny. Ancestral state reconstructions are equally consistent with both morphological and molecular hypotheses of squamate phylogeny. Only several inferred heterochronic events are common to all methods and phylogenies.


Results of the cladistic analyses, and the fact that reconstructions of heterochronic events show more similarities between certain methods rather than phylogenetic hypotheses, suggest that phylogenetic signal is at best weak in the studied developmental events. Possibly the developmental sequences analysed here evolve too quickly to recover deep divergences within Squamata.

DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3262

READ IT HERE: https://peerj.com/articles/3262/

Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)