Project 2637: J. C. Conrad, J. C. Ast, S. Montanari, M. A. Norell. 2011. A combined evidence phylogenetic analysis of Anguimorpha (Reptilia: Squamata). Cladistics. 27 (3):230-277.
Specimen: Anguis fragilis (unvouchered)
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Anguimorpha is a clade of limbed and limbless squamates with ca. 196 extant species and a known fossil record spanning the past 130 million years. Morphology-based and molecule-based phylogenetic analyses disagree on several key points. The analyses differ consistently in the placements of monstersaurs (e.g. Gila Monsters), shinisaurs (Crocodile Lizards), the anguid Anniella (American Legless Lizards), carusioids (Knobby Lizards), and the major clades within Varanus (Monitor Lizards). Given different data sources with such different phylogenetic hypotheses, Anguimorpha is an excellent candidate for a combined phylogenetic analysis. We constructed a data matrix consisting of 175 fossil and extant anguimorphs, and 2281 parsimony-informative characters (315 morphological characters and 1969 molecular characters). We analysed these data using the computer program TNT using the “new technology search” with the ratchet. Our result is novel and shows similarities with both morphological and molecular trees, but is identical to neither. We find that a global combined evidence analysis (GCA) does not recover a holophyletic Varanoidea, but omission of fossil taxa reveals cryptic molecular support for that group. We describe these results and others from global morphological analysis, extant-only morphological analysis, molecular data-only analyses, combined evidence analysis of extant taxa, and GCA.

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Article DOI: DOI: 10.1111/j.1096-0031.2010.00330.x

Project DOI: 10.7934/P2637,
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MorphoBank Project 2637
  • Creation Date:
    16 March 2017
  • Publication Date:
    16 March 2017
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