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Re: UNENLAGIA THE BIRD



<<D'OH! Yes, of course, this would definitely dictate the inclusion of
_Unenlagia_ within Aves. I'm afraid my mind has been too long in the 
other half of Dinosauria (as has yours, Pete ;). If I recall correctly 
(and
there's a good chance I don't), not many non-avian coelurosaurs were 
included in that study. Personally, I would prefer to see the position 
of _Unenlagia_ analyized as part of a more inclusive study involving a 
large number of coelurosaur taxa. IMHO, a study restricted to avialan 
ingroup taxa is potentially less reliable in the placement of "basal" 
taxa, especially within a taxon showing a relatively high degree of 
homoplaisy (e.g. any theropod clade).>>

_Allosaurus_, Tyrannosauridae, _Compsognathus_, 
Ornithomimidae+Oviraptoridae, Dromaeosauridae, and Troodontidae  were 
included in the analysis and were in that order with regards to basal 
Aves.  Alot of unexpected results: _Compsognathus_ closer to 
Ornithomimidae and Troodontidae than Tyrannosauridae and a 
Ornithomimidae+Oviraptoridae clade.  Plus, there's the Troodontidae+Aves 
group rather than Dromaeosauridae+Aves. I didn't buy the theropodian 
arrangements, but I bought the placement of _Unenlagia_ within Aves. All 
we need to know now is where the Yixian protobirds fit in.  I'm 
supporting the arrangement given thus far 
(_Protarchaeopteryx_+Dromaeosauridae, _Caudipteryx_+Aves),  but I think 
another analysis must be done.  

<<What we need is the BIG TAMALE, the analysis to end all analyses, 
something that incorporates all new data, and all taxa of reasonable 
completeness. We're waiting patiently, Dr. Holtz... :)>>

Yeah, we're ALL waiting :-)

Matt Troutman

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