What a large gamut phylogenetic analysis provides

During casual reading, I ran across the following…
in Reisz et al. 2000, “Paleozoic varanopid synapsids and diapsids, rare members of the terrestrial fossil assemblages, are not closely related to each other but appear to have acquired a number of interesting similarities that have resulted in their frequent misidentification.”

That is the view in traditional paleontology.
By contrast, in the large reptile tree (LRT) basal diapsid archosauromorphs (remember, lepidosaurs are convergent with their own diapsid temples) are derived from a series of former varanopid synapsids. Yet other varanopid synapsids are indeed basal to traditional synapsids. This is recovered only by testing in a large gamut analysis. So this is the value the LRT brings to paleontology.

Similar problems and solutions
can be found throughout the reptile family tree, as has been demonstrated here time and again through testing.

Let us hope that someday
traditional biases and paradigms will be tested by professionals and not let another generation of paleontologists stumble through these readily solved problems.

Reisz RR, Laurin M and Marjanovic D 2010. Apsisaurus witteri from the Lower Permian of Texas: yet another small varanopid synapsid, not a diapsid. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 30 (5): 1628–1631.

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