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The Systematics and Evolution of the Crocodilia as Suggested by Restriction Endonuclease Analysis of Mitochondrial and Nuclear Ribosomal DNA

Llewellyn D. Densmore, III and P. Scott White
Copeia
Vol. 1991, No. 3 (Aug. 1, 1991), pp. 602-615
DOI: 10.2307/1446388
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1446388
Page Count: 14
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The Systematics and Evolution of the Crocodilia as Suggested by Restriction Endonuclease Analysis of Mitochondrial and Nuclear Ribosomal DNA
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Abstract

We present restriction fragment analyses of mitochondrial and ribosomal DNAs in an effort to resolve some critical systematic questions among extant members of the order Crocodilia. This paper concentrates on interspecific relationships among all the species of the circumtropical genus Crocodylus (the true crocodiles), the relationship of Crocodylus to Osteolaemus (the dwarf-African crocodile) and tests the hypothesis that the two gharial genera, Gavialis and Tomistoma, are more closely related to one another than to any other group of living crocodilians. This first extensive molecular phylogeny of the true crocodiles not only aligns some species that are found in the same hemisphere but also places organisms that currently have disjunct distributions in the same clade. We also include a method of analysis (compatible parsimony) for restriction fragment data that appears to combine compatibility and parsimony criteria.

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