Mammalia sister of Reptilia?

Thomas DiBenedetto TDibenedetto at DCCMC.ORG
Mon Mar 13 13:34:52 CST 2000

How can a clearly paraphyletic group (like the
reptiles) that to be monophyletic would *include* the mammals be
the *sister* to anything?
There is a widespread, although hardly ubiquitous use of the name Reptilia
which references a monophyletic group (with birds, without mammals). See any
modern (i.e cladistic :) ) classification, or the Tree of Life, for that
The clade that includes reptiles and mammals is Amniota. Among extant
terrestrial vertebrates, Mammalia is the sister group of Reptilia. As a
neontologist, I tend to think of trees of extant organisms. I guess I should
have said Sauropsida the siter to Synapsida. Sorry fo the confusion.

Tom DiBenedetto
tdib at

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