The amniote temporal roof and the diapsid origin of the turtle skull

GS Bever, Tyler R Lyson, Daniel J Field, Bhart-Anjan S Bhullar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fossils provide a glimpse into the architecturally complex origins of modern vertebrate body plans. One such origin that has been long debated is that of turtles. Although much attention has been directed toward the origin of the shell, the enigmatic evolution of the turtle skull and its anapsid temporal region has long clouded our understanding of reptile phylogeny. Two taxa, Eunotosaurus africanus and Pappochelys rosinae, were recently and independently described as long-anticipated stem turtles whose diapsid skulls would cement the evolutionary link between turtles and other modern reptile lineages. Detailed μCT analysis of the stratigraphically older and phylogenetically stemward of the two, Eunotosaurus, provides empirical insight into changing developmental trajectories that may have produced the anapsid cranial form of modern turtles and sets the stage for more comprehensive studies of early amniote cranial evolution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-473
JournalZoology
Volume119
Issue number6
Early online date30 Apr 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

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