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GEOL 431 (The Big Vertebrate Tree)



A phylogeny of vertebrates I made as a study guide for my peers in Vertebrate Paleobiology. Information compiled by Drs. Thomas Holtz and John Merck, but any errors are probably mine.

Taxa in bold have extant representatives. Taxa for which monophyly is uncertain are followed by a question mark. Taxa whose phylogenetic position is less certain than presented here are preceded by a big orange question mark (this excludes those whose uncertainty is already indicated by a polytomy). In the lower right is a short list of taxa so problematic that we did not deign to place them in even a tentative position on the phylogeny (though we may have ideas about what major groups they belong to). This should not be by any means treated as an exhaustive list of controversies in vertebrate phylogenetics, as I have only indicated those we brought up in class.

All silhouettes are from PhyloPic, with the exception of the parvicursorine, which was generously made for me by :iconspikeheila: when I lamented that I could not find any alvarezsaurid silhouettes on PhyloPic that were satisfactorily fluffy.

Due to the time and effort involved in creating an image of this size and nature, I am unlikely to update this on a regular basis. As such, this should be considered a snapshot of the state of the art and will inevitably become increasingly outdated as time goes on. However, a more up to date version including only the branching topology (but not the synapomorphy lists or silhouettes) is available here.
Image size
7563x13802px 5.3 MB
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Kane0510's avatar

Wow… this is huge.