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Are Crocodiles Really Monophyletic?



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Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 39 2006 16 32 www elsevier com locate ympev Are crocodiles really monophyletic Evidence for subdivisions from sequence and morphological data L Rex McAliley a Ray E Willis a David A Ray a 1 P Scott White b Christopher A Brochu c Llewellyn D Densmore III a b a Department of Biological Sciences Texas Tech University P O Box 43131 Lubbock TX 79409 313 USA Genetic Variation Initiative MailStopM888 Bioscience Division Los Alamos National Laboratory Los Alamos NM 87545 USA c Department of Geoscience University of Iowa Iowa City IA 52242 USA Received 2 February 2005 revised 9 January 2006 accepted 10 January 2006 Available online 21 February 2006 Abstract Recently the phylogenetic placement of the African slender snouted crocodile Crocodylus cataphractus has come under scrutiny and herein we address this issue using molecular and morphological techniques Although it is often recognized as being a basal form morphological studies have traditionally placed C cataphractus within the genus Crocodylus while molecular studies have suggested that C cataphractus is very distinct from other Crocodylus To address the relationship of this species to its congeners we have sequenced portions of two nuclear genes C mos 302 bp and ODC 294 bp and two mitochondrial genes ND6 tRNAglu cytB 347 bp and control region 457 bp Analyses of these molecular datasets both as individual gene sequences and as concatenated sequences support the hypothesis that C cataphractus is not a member of Crocodylus or Osteolaemus Examination of 165 morphological characters supports and strengthens our resurrection of an historic genus Mecistops Gray 1844 for cataphractus 2006 Elsevier Inc All rights reserved Keywords Crocodylus Crocodylus cataphractus C mos ODC Mitochondrial ND6 Mitochondrial control region Systematics Mecistops 1 Introduction The African slender snouted crocodile Crocodylus cataphractus has long been a systematic enigma In one of the earliest systematic



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