Where Do Turtles Belong In The Evolutionary Record?
April 1, 2014

Where Do Turtles Belong In The Evolutionary Record?

Maureen Moses, American Geosciences Institute

Turtles are the last major living vertebrate group to be placed firmly on the tree of life, and the arguments are getting messy. Three fields in particular — paleontology, developmental biology and microbiology/genomics — disagree about how, and from what, turtles may have evolved. In the latest EARTH Magazine feature story, contributing writer Naomi Lubick investigates how these creatures confound scientists on many levels — from their morphology in the paleontological record and in modern day turtles, to the analysis of their genome. Where do they belong in the evolutionary record?

Recent publications and meetings convened on turtle evolution have resulted in, for now, scientists agreeing to disagree. Meet turtles’ potential ancestors, and explore the modern research and controversy in the April issue of EARTH Magazine.

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