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Re: oviraptors

At 04:23 PM 1/9/96 -0800, you wrote:
>> Where in the tree would you place:
>> Caenagnathidae/Elmisauridae?I think it is allready place on the tree...

Oops.  You are right.  Sorry that I missed them.

>> Dromaeosauridae?
>> (or, if you will, Dromaeosaurus and Velociraptorinae)Maniraptora
>  |-Caenagnathids
>  |-Oviraptorids.
>> Archaeopteryx?Maniraptora
>| |-Archaeopteryx
>> Therizinosauroidea?I do not think that the back pointing pubis has
anything to do whith 
>maniraptora. It is a cassuality, that therizinosaurids (i prefer 
>segnosaurs, the name is shorter)has got such pubis. I aggree whith those 
>who think that the pubis was a seat! And whith Greg Paul, who thinks they 
>evolved from prosauropods. Tha the segnosaurs lived like the mammal 

Greg Paul no longers considers them prosauropod descendants.  The abundant
new material (including Alxasaurus, and the redescribed skull of
Erlicosaurus) demonstrate the theropod, indeed the coelurosaurian nature of
the material.

I agree that therizinosauroids were probably sloth-analogues, but that
doesn't mean we get to dismiss all the other derived features that link
these dinosaurs and other maniraptoriform theropods.

Most data sets show that Archaeopteryx is closer to the remaining birds than
are oviraptorosaurs (not all, but most), and most data sets show
dromaeosaurids as the sister taxon to Archie + later birds.

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

"To trace that life in its manifold changes through past ages to the present
is a ... difficult task, but one from which modern science does not shrink.
In this wide field, every earnest effort will meet with some degree of
success; every year will add new and important facts; and every generation
will bring to light some law, in accordance with which ancient life has been
changed into life as we see it around us to-day."
        --O.C. Marsh, Vice Presidential Address, AAAS, August 30, 1877