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Is the Saurischia legitimate?
What defense do modern paleontologists have for the order <Saurischia>? What
can anyone possibly have to keep the agile, avian, and possibly feathered
mongoliensis> and such elephantine giants as <Brachiosaurus brancai> and
<Apatosaurus ajax> in a taxonomic relationship as close as that between
modern dogs and cats? The primitive pelvic structure isn't a good excuse -
it's a default feature, one that the earliest ancestors of the Dinosauria
posessed, including that of the <Ornithischia.> It doesn't prove that a
closer relationship exists between the theropods and the sauropods than
between either of them and the Ornithischians. The semi-opposable-thumb claw,
reputedly unique to the <Saurischia,> might not prove much either - In the
last chapter of his book, <The Dinosaur Heresies,> Bakker states that there
exists an ornithischian with such a feature, <Heterodontosaurus.> Can someone
please tell me if he is right, or if they have found another way to support
this centuries old classification?