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Re: Pygostyle

>There is no pygostyle in Patagopteryx, which almost everyone concedes is 
>avian. What might you make of this?

There are a number of possibilities, I suppose:

1. Patagopteryx is not avian; and/or
2. The pygostyle has been secondarily lost in this form (for all I know,
this might involve a relatively minor genetic shift); or
3. The pygostyle evolved more than once in different lines of
tail-feather-bearing(?) maniraptorians, and Patagopteryx is basal to the
lineage in Aves that evolved it.

I have no idea which of these is correct, but they all seem to be at least
reasonable a priori hypotheses.

Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@home.com