Reptile evolutionary dynamics

July 3, 2020

Did adaptive radiations (sensu Simpson) shape reptile evolution???? Using a total-evidence dating approach, Postdoc fellow Tiago Simões uncovers a complex evolutionary scenario in which different parts of the diapsid and lepidosaur tree of life are often better explained by alternative megaevolutionary models - contradicting decades old dogma. The findings further suggest that phenotypic novelties converging on similar functions (e.g. snake-like body plan) evolved at very distinct rates of evolution. And, that snake have the highest rate of evolution compared to all reptiles!

Tiago blogs about the study and its significance here: Reptile megaevolutionary dynamics in deep time

Simões, T. R., Vernygora, O., Caldwell, M. W., & Pierce, S. E. (2020). Megaevolutionary dynamics and the timing of evolutionary innovation in reptilesNature communications11(1), 1-14.