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ORNITHISCHIAN TAXONOMY GOES BANANAS
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN TWO PEOPLE DO RESEARCH INDEPENDANT OF EACHOTHER ON OPPOSITE
SIDES OF THE PLANET
I just got ahold of a paper today published by Cooper in 1985 that has a
cladistic analysis of the Ornithischia. Within the paper, Cooper comes to
many of the same conclisions and names many clades that are also named by
Sereno a year later. Some of Bakker's clades are also named different
He comes to the conslusion that ornithopods and _Lesothosaurus_ is the sister
group to all other ornithischians. The all others group is named
Neornithischia and has a radically different definition than Neornithischia
sensu Sereno 1997 (= Cerapoda Sereno 1996). Neornithischia sensu Cooper has
a thyreophyra clade and a marginocephalia clade (including heterodontosaurs).
So, yes, Neornithischia sensu Cooper is esentially the same as Orbitoscuta
Additionally, he names the group Bakker calls Phytodinosauria:
Ornithosaurischiformes, the Sauropodomorpha is called: Pachypodosauria, and
Theropoda is called Carnosauriformes. ACK!
Cooper also gives the name Neornithopoda to the clade (Heterodontosauridae +
(Pachycephalosauria + Ceratopia)). Besides the fact that it has a Neo-
prefix, I think this name should be ignored because it implies an ingroup
relationship within the Ornithopoda...
Back to Neornithischia. I am utterly confused as to why Sereno (1997) drops
the name Cerapoda in favor of Neornithischia, since, as far as I know
Cerapoda has not already been named (it is actually a gramatically incorrect
word combination that was apparently a random joining of Ceratopia and
Ornithopoda...), and it differs significantly from the group originally given
that name by Cooper in 1985.
So, yes, fun.
Bakker, R T. 1986. The Dinosaur Heresies - New theories unlocking the
mystery of the dinosaurs and their extinction. Kensington Publishing
Corperation. New York. 481 pages.
Cooper, M R. 1985. A revision of the ornithischian dinosaur _Kangnasaurus
coetzeei_ Haughton, with a classification of the Ornithischia. Annals of the
South African Museum - Cape Town 95(8):281-317.
Sereno, P C. 1986. Phylogeny of the bird-hipped dinosaurs (order
Ornithischia). National Geographic Research 2(2):234-256.
Sereno, P C. 1997. The origin and evolution of dinosaurs. Annual Review of
Earth and Planetary Sciences 25:435-489.