Temporal range: Early Cretaceous - present, 124.6–0Ma
|Chinese crocodile lizard (Shinisaurus)|
Shinisauria is a clade or evolutionary grouping of anguimorph lizards that includes the living Chinese crocodile lizard Shinisaurus and several of its closest extinct relatives. Shinisauria was named in 2008 as a stem-based taxon to include all anguimorphs more closely related to Shinisaurus than to any other lizard. Several recent phylogenetic analyses of lizard evolutionary relationships place Shinisauria in a basal position within the clade Platynota, which also includes monitor lizards, helodermatids, and the extinct mosasaurs. Shinisaurians were once thought to be closely related to the genus Xenosaurus, but they are now considered distant relatives within Anguimorpha. The fossil record of shinisaurians extends back to the Early Cretaceous with Dalinghosaurus, which is from the Yixian Formation of China. Two other extinct shinisaurians are currently known: Bahndwivici from the Eocene of Wyoming and Merkurosaurus from the Early Miocene of the Czech Republic.
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- Conrad, J. L.; Ast, J. C.; Montanari, S.; Norell, M. A. (2011). "A combined evidence phylogenetic analysis of Anguimorpha (Reptilia: Squamata)". Cladistics 27 (3): 230. doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2010.00330.x.
- Klembara, J. (2008). "A New Anguimorph Lizard from the Lower Miocene of North-West Bohemia, Czech Republic". Palaeontology 51: 81–94. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2007.00732.x.
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