Project 3274: M. L. Auge, B. Guevel. 2018. New varanid remains from the Miocene (MN4-MN5) of France: inferring fossil lizard phylogeny from subsets of large morphological data sets. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 38 (1):e1410483.
Specimen: Varanus exanthematicus (unvouchered)
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Fossil vertebrae from the early Miocene of France (Loire Basin) are described. They show several characters generally regarded as varanid synapomorphies. A phylogenetic analysis of these vertebrae is performed with a subset of morphological data taken from several large morphological data sets (vertebral characters) and it confirms an attribution to varanid lizards. Moreover, referral of isolated vertebrae from the Eocene-Oligocene of Egypt to varanids is confirmed. The use of subsets of large morphological data sets in phylogenetic analysis of fossils (especially incomplete remains) is discussed and advocated for, and we argue that convergence between tree topologies obtained from different kinds of data sets is a key issue in inferring the phylogenetic position of fossil taxa.

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Article DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2017.1410483

Project DOI: 10.7934/P3274,
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MorphoBank Project 3274
  • Creation Date:
    28 September 2018
  • Publication Date:
    09 November 2018
  • Project views: 2736

    Authors' Institutions

    • Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, Paris (Natural History Museum, Paris)


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