Group B SOX genes, the closest relatives to the sex-determining gene SRY, are thought to have evolved from a single ancestral SOX B by a series of duplications and translocations. The two SOX B genes SOX2 and SOX14 co-localize to chromosome 3q in humans. SOX2 and SOX14 homologues were cloned and characterized in the platypus, a monotreme mammal distantly related to man. The two genes were found to co-localize to chromosome 1q in this species. Proximity of the two related genes has therefore been conserved for 170 Myr, since humans and platypus diverged. The sequence similarity and conserved synteny of these group B genes provide clues to their origin. A simple model of SOX group B gene evolution is proposed.