Field of Science

Redescription of the Middle Triassic Diapsid Megachirella wachtleri, an Early Branching Lepidosauromorph

Renesto, S.,  and M. Bernardi. 2013. Redescription and phylogenetic relationships of Megachirella wachtleri Renesto et Posenato, 2003 (Reptilia, Diapsida). Paläontologische Zeitschrift. DOI: 10.1007/s12542-013-0194-0
Abstract - Megachirella wachtleri Renesto et Posenato, 2003, a well preserved partial reptile skeleton from the Middle Triassic of the Dolomites (N. Italy), was originally considered a lepidosauromorph, but no phylogenetic analysis was carried out. Consequently, the taxon was overlooked in later phylogenetic analyses of the Diapsida. Here, the holotype and only known specimen of M. wachtleri is redescribed, allowing an investigation of its phylogenetic relationships. Phylogenetic analyses confirm that Megachirella is a lepidosauromorph close to the crown group lepidosaurs (Squamata + Rhynchocephalia). Megachirella enhances our knowledge of the series of morphological modifications that led to the origin of the Lepidosauria, the most diverse clade of extant reptiles.

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