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Re: Comments on the Birdy National Geographic.



Luis Rey wrote:


>
>Returning to National Geographic, I found the cladogram very peculiar. I
>think flightlessness should have been kept as an option, if just because
>Caudipteryx and Protarchaeopteryx show a very high degree of
>specialization.
>In fact Caudipteryx 'looks' more bird-like than Archaeopteryx itself, only
>that Caudipteryx is obviously a non-flying or maybe secondarily flightless
>animal.

According to Mark Norell in an interview, the positions of
Protarchaeopteryx and Caudipteryx were reversed on the National Geographic
art. Caudipteryx is a sister group of Aves; Protarchaeopteryx is further
down, unresolvable cladistically from Velociraptor, which was the outgroup.
For the correct cladogram, see the Nature paper. -- Jeff Hecht