• Amniota;
  • Sauropsida;
  • Mesosauridae;
  • Reptilia;
  • Parareptilia;
  • Eureptilia;
  • Testudines;
  • phylogenetics;
  • evolution;
  • Palaeozoic

A new phylogenetic analysis of early amniotes based on 124 characters and 13 taxa (including three outgroups) indicates that synapsids are the sister-group of all other known amniotes. The sister-group of Synapsida is Sauropsida, including Mesosauridae and Reptilia as its two main subdivisions. Reptilia is divided into Parareptilia and Eureptilia. Parareptilia includes Testudines and its fossil relatives (Procolophonidae, Pareiasauria and Millerettidae), while Eureptilia includes Diapsida and its fossil relatives (Pakothyris and Captorhinidae). Parts of the phylogeny are robust, such as the sister-group relationship between procolophonids and testudines, and between pareiasaurs and the testudinomorphs (the clade including procolophonids and testudines). Other parts of the new tree are not so firmly established, such as the position of mesosaurs as the sister-group of reptiles. The new phylogeny indicates that three major clades of amniotes extend from the present to the Palaeozoic. These three clades are the Synapsida (including Mammalia), Parareptilia (including Testudines), and Eureptilia (including Sauria). In addition, the Procolophonidae, a group of Triassic parareptiles, are the sister-group of Testudines.