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Re: Re: The Two Principal Dinosaur Clades Defined



>       What's the consensus (or the arguments) on where sauropodomorphs
>fit in? Are people pretty much agreed that they are closer to Iguanodon, 
>or if not, why not? 

Although Dinogeorge, Greg Paul, and Bob Bakker will disagree (as they
should: the "consensus" should always be challenged), all recently published
analysis of dinosaurian systematics with an explicit data matrix and so on
has found that the Sauropodomorpha is the sister taxon to Theropoda within a
monophyletic Saurischia.

However, as Bakker and Galton pointed out in 1974, and many since, there are
a LOT of potential synapmorphies between "prosauropods" and ornithischians.

Much of this will still be up in the air until the REALLY detailed
osteologies of Eoraptor and Herrerasaurus are published (they are in prep),
which will give us much better data on what a primitive dinosaur (or dino
outgroup?) looks like.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist
Dept. of Geology
University of Maryland
College Park, MD  20742
Email:Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)
Fax: 301-314-9661
Phone:301-405-4084