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Re: Bird arms

>A big cladistic problem with vestigialization is that there can be many
>different kinds of precursors of a vestigial organ, all of which arrive at the
>same derived vestigial state. Lots of phyletic information can become lost
>through vestigialization, potentially confusing cladistic analysis. This kind
>of thing has happened, for example, with _Hupehsuchus_, an aquatic animal so
>derived for its lifestyle that its relationships are presently unanalyzable.

Actually, John Merck was able to successfully include Hupehsuchus within a
cladistic analysis of euryapsids and basal archosauromorphs.  He is
currently preparing his dissertation for publication.


Christopher Brochu

Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Department of Geology
Field Museum of Natural History
Lake Shore Drive at Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL  60605  USA

phone:  312-922-9410, ext. 469
fax:  312-922-9566