Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) are involved in precursor ribosomal RNA (pre-rRNA) processing and rRNA base modifications (2'-O-ribose methylation and pseudouridylation). Their genomic organization show great flexibility: some are individually or polycistronically transcribed, while others are encoded within introns of other genes. Here, we present an evolutionary analysis of the U49 gene in seven species. In all species analyzed, U49 contains the typical hallmarks of C and D box motifs, and a conserved 12-15 nt sequence complementary to rRNA that define them as homologs. In mouse, human, and Drosophila U49 is found encoded within introns of different genes, and in plants it is transcribed polycistronically from four different locations. In addition, U49 has two copies in two different introns of the RpL14 gene in Drosophila. The results indicate a substantial degree of duplication and translocation of the U49 gene in evolution. In light of its variable organization we discuss which of the two proposed mechanisms of rearrangement has acted upon the U49 snoRNA gene: chromosomal duplication or transposition through an RNA intermediate.