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Re: Mongolian dinosaur inspires religion in grad student



        All right, I will say this and only this.  Look at the following two
cladeograms:

ONE:
--------+COELUROSAURIA         
        |
        |       +-Caegnathidae
        +-------+OVIRAPTORSAURIA
                |
                |  +-Elmisauridae
                +--+
                   |  +-Alvarezsauridae
                   +--+
                      +-Therizinosauroidea

        Allright.  This is controversial, but mostly people are bringing up
details about the alvarezsaurs.  Some people think therizinosaurs are closer
to ornithomimids.  Everybody thinks.  Anyway, this is not going to be
considered all that out of line by anyone except George, who has his own
agenda (not to devalue his oppinion...).

TWO:
--------+COELUROSAURIA          
        |
        |       +-Caegnathidae
        +-------+OVIRAPTORSAURIA
                |
                |  +-Elmisauridae
                +--+
                   |  +-Alvarezsauridae
                   +--+
                      +-Compsognathus

        People are going to look at this one and say, "hmm, Compsognathus,
that's a weird critter.  I guess it *could* go there..."  Yeah, everyone has
their own read on the phylogeny of the coelurosaurs, but this one isn't too
hard to swallow.

THREE:
--------+COELUROSAURIA        
        |
        |       +-Caegnathidae
        +-------+OVIRAPTORSAURIA
                |
                |  +-Elmisauridae
                +--+
                   |  +-Alvarezsauridae
                   +--+
                      +-Therizinosauroidea+Compsognathus
        
        So then why are people getting uptight about this one?  Obviously,
in the cladogram I drew, a lot of characters which many people believe are
synapomorphies of higher clades are either plesiomorphic or convergent.  If
I put Mononykus next to Segnosarus, obviously we're talking some major
weirdness.  I respect the opinions of everyone who has questioned this
assignment, but I'm not going to go any farther in backing it up.
        :)
        Wagner
+-------------******ONCE AGAIN, NOTE NEW E-MAIL ADRESS******---------------+
| Jonathan R. Wagner                    "You can clade if you want to,     |
| Department of Geosciences              You can leave your friends behind |
| Texas Tech University                  Because your friends don't clade  |
| Lubbock, TX 79409                               and if they don't clade, |
|       *** wagner@ttu.edu ***           Then they're no friends of mine." |
|           Web Page:  http://faraday.clas.virginia.edu/~jrw6f             |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+