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Re: Pterodactyloids may not have been monophyletic



At 7:20 PM 9/16/95, DPterosaur@aol.com wrote:

>I've been looking into the phylogeny of pterosaurs today and have come up
>with an interesting observation.  I think pterodactyloids may *not* have been
>monophyletic.
>I've read some (although not all) of the pterosaur cladograms and family
>trees.  I'm looking for someone to shoot me down on this idea with sound
>reasoning.

        I agree with the other posters that have said these sound much more
like functional adaptations rather than phylogenetic ones.  Dave Unwin et
al have been working deeply on pterosaur phylogenetics for the last few
years; an abstract he had in the _JVP_ abstracts thingy a year or two ago
hinted at his forthcoming phylogeny.  In that, he mentions that the
Pterodactyloidea is indeed monophyletic, linked by several unique traits
(and my own meager inquiries into that realm have agreed with this) but the
Rhamphorhynchoidea, as traditionally used, is paraphyletic (in that it
didn't include the Pterodactyloidea as a descendant group).  Check out his
abstract...I hope his complete phylogeny comes out soon!  8-)



Jerry D. Harris
Shuler Museum of Paleontology
Southern Methodist University
Box 750395
Dallas  TX  75275-0395
(214) 768-2750
FAX:  (214) 768-2701
jdharris@lust.isem.smu.edu
        (Compuserve:  73132,3372)

---------/O\------*     --->|:|:|>     w___/^^^\--o

"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and
quacks like a duck, then it is the sister taxon to,
but cannot parsimoniously be, the direct ancestor
to all other ducks."

                                --  _not_ W. Hennig

---------/O\------*     --->|:|:|>     w___/^^^\--o