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Estimating rates and patterns of morphological evolution from phylogenies: lessons in limb lability from Australian Lerista lizards

John J Wiens

Author Affiliations

Department of Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5245, USA

Journal of Biology 2009, 8:19  doi:10.1186/jbiol112

Published: 24 February 2009


Squamates (lizards and snakes) offer an exciting model system for research on the evolution of body form. A new phylogenetic study in BMC Evolutionary Biology of Australian lizards shows remarkable evolutionary lability in digit numbers among closely related species, but also highlights important challenges in this area.