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A team of scientists has reconstructed a detailed 'tree of life' for turtles. Next generation sequencing technologies have generated unprecedented amounts of genetic information for a thrilling new look at turtles' evolutionary history. Scientists place turtles in the newly named group 'Archelosauria' with their closest relatives: birds, crocodiles, and dinosaurs.

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Biologists long assumed that one-way air flow was a special adaptation in birds driven by the intense energy demands of flight. But now scientists have shown that bird-like breathing also developed in green iguanas – reptiles not known for high-capacity aerobic fitness. The finding bolsters the case that unidirectional bird-like flow evolved long before the first birds.

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While a life in the slow lane may be easier, will it be any longer? It will if you're a reptile. A new study finds that reduced reproductive rates and a plant-rich diet are responsible for the increased lifespan of reptiles.

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Through the careful study of modern and early fossil tortoise, researchers now have a better understanding of how tortoises breathe and the evolutionary processes that helped shape their unique breathing apparatus and tortoise shell.

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