Short one today,
told mostly in pictures (Figs. 1, 2). Click here or see below for more data and taxon links.
These are the taxa from which all later lepidosaurs
arose and diversified. Thus, these are the ancestors of snakes, pterosaurs, ‘rib’ gliders and rhynchosaurs at their genesis and basal diversification.
Basal lepidosauriformes are rare.
For tens of millions of years, between the the first and last days of the Triassic, these are just about all we have in the sparse fossil record at the genesis of new Lepidosauriformes (= Paliguana + Sophineta, their last common ancestor and all descendants). Paliguana is a late survivor of that earlier genesis.
Chronology does not always mirror phylogeny.
And that’s okay.
It’s okay that Archaeopteryx was found in Late Jurassic strata and one of its its putative ancestor, Velociraptor, was found in Late Cretaceous strata. You might remember when a bunch of paleontologists waved their hands over that matter, then later blushed and said, “Never mind.” In like manner, it’s okay that Paliguana was found in younger strata than its phylogenetic descendants.