A growing number of studies examining DNA sequences have suggested a close evolutionary kinship between turtles and archosaurs, but those results were contradicted by anatomical studies and a recent study of small biomolecules called microRNAs. Because microRNAs are viewed by some as excellent evolutionary markers, the conflict between the microRNA and DNA results meant the turtle-archosaur link was viewed skeptically by many.
But the Dartmouth-led team’s research suggests the earlier microRNA conclusions were erroneous, and instead indicates that microRNAs and DNA sequences yield a common signal — that turtles share a more recent common ancestor with birds and crocodilians than with lizards and snakes.
Another highly productive day in straightening out the odd little kink left in the tidy picture of Darwinian evolution.
For what it is worth, birds are endothermic (warm-blooded), like mammals. Just a little adjustment there, of course, no big deal.
See also: Human and squid eyes arose from the same genes 500 mya (So if “evolution” just randomly did this, why don’t we hire “evolution” to solve other intractable problems?)
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