Public Release:  EARTH Magazine: The trouble with turtles

American Geosciences Institute

Alexandria, Va. - Turtles are the last major living vertebrate group to be placed firmly on the tree of life, and the arguments are getting messy. Three fields in particular -- paleontology, developmental biology and microbiology/genomics -- disagree about how, and from what, turtles may have evolved.

In the latest EARTH Magazine feature story, contributing writer Naomi Lubick investigates how these creatures confound scientists on many levels -- from their morphology in the paleontological record and in modern day turtles, to the analysis of their genome. Where do they belong in the evolutionary record?

Recent publications and meetings convened on turtle evolution have resulted in, for now, scientists agreeing to disagree. Meet turtles' potential ancestors, and explore the modern research and controversy in the April issue of EARTH Magazine: http://bit.ly/1mqgN9o.

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The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 50 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

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