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Sookias, Roland B. (2016): The relationships of the Euparkeriidae and the rise of Archosauria. In: Royal Society Open Science, Vol. 3, No. 3, UNSP 150674 [PDF, 2MB]

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For the first time, a phylogenetic analysis including all putative euparkeriid taxa is conducted, using a large data matrix analysed with maximum parsimony and Bayesian analysis. Using parsimony, the putative euparkeriid Dorosuchus neoetus from Russia is the sister taxon to Archosauria+Phytosauria. Euparkeria capensis is placed one node further from the crown, and forms a euparkeriid clade with the Chinese taxa Halazhaisuchus qiaoensis and 'Turfanosuchus shageduensis' and the Polish taxon Osmolskina czatkowicensis. Using Bayesian methods, Osmolskina and Halazhaisuchus are sister taxa within Euparkeriidae, in turn sister to 'Turfanosuchus shageduensis' and then Euparkeria capensis. Dorosuchus is placed in a polytomy with Euparkeriidae and Archosauria+Phytosauria. Although conclusions remain tentative owing to low node support and incompleteness, a broad phylogenetic position close to the base of Archosauria is confirmed for all putative euparkeriids, and the ancestor of Archosauria+Phytosauria is optimized as similar to euparkeriids in its morphology. Ecomorphological characters and traits are optimized onto the maximum parsimony strict consensus phylogeny presented using squared change parsimony. This optimization indicates that the ancestral archosaur was probably similar in many respects to euparkeriids, being relatively small, terrestrial, carnivorous and showing relatively cursorial limbmorphology;this Bauplan may have underlain the exceptional radiaton and success of crown Archosauria.

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