From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Temporal range: Early JurassicHolocene, 176–0 Ma
Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus)
Skeleton of Sphenofontis from the Late Jurassic of Germany
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Rhynchocephalia
Suborder: Sphenodontia
Family: Sphenodontidae
Cope, 1870 (conserved name)
Type species
Hatteria punctata
Gray, 1842
  • Hatteriidae
    Cope, 1864 (rejected name)
  • Rhynchocephalidae
    Hoffmann, 1881 (rejected name)

Sphenodontidae is a family within the reptile group Rhynchocephalia, comprising taxa most closely related to the living tuatara of the genus Sphenodon. The included taxa within Sphenodontidae have varied greatly between analyses, and the group has lacked a formal definition. Cynosphenodon from the Early Jurassic of Mexico has consistently been recovered as a close relative of the tuatara in most analyses.[2]

The following is a cladogram of Rhynchocephalia after Rauhut et al. (2012):[3]


Sphenodon (Tuatara)





  1. ^ Apesteguia RO, Rougier GW (2012). "A basal sphenodontian (Lepidosauria) from the Jurassic of Patagonia: new insights on the phylogeny and biogeography of Gondwanan rhynchocephalians". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 166 (2): 342–360. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2012.00837.x. [R. Benson/R. Benson]
  2. ^ Simões TR, Caldwell MW, Pierce SE (December 2020). "Sphenodontian phylogeny and the impact of model choice in Bayesian morphological clock estimates of divergence times and evolutionary rates". BMC Biology. 18 (1): 191. doi:10.1186/s12915-020-00901-5. PMC 7720557. PMID 33287835.
  3. ^ Rauhut OW, Heyng AM, López-Arbarello A, Hecker A (2012). "A new rhynchocephalian from the late jurassic of Germany with a dentition that is unique amongst tetrapods". PLOS ONE. 7 (10): e46839. Bibcode:2012PLoSO...746839R. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046839. PMC 3485277. PMID 23118861.